day/break, poet Gwen Benaway’s fourth collection of work, explores the everyday poetics of the trans feminine body. Through intimate experiences and conceptualizations of trans life, day/break asks what it means to be a trans woman, both within the text and out in the physical world.
Shifting between theory and poetry, Benaway questions how gender, sexuality, and love intersect with the violence and transmisogyny of the nation state and established literary institutions. In beautiful lyric verse, day/break reveals the often-unseen other worlds of trans life, where body, self, and sex are transformed, becoming more than fixed binary locations.
Praise for day/break:
“Gwen Benaway is quickly becoming a master poet. Four books in and blowing all of our minds, but I really think she’s just getting warmed up. I wanted to write something brilliant to recommend day/break, but I can think of nothing better than Gwen’s own words: ‘we will not say love / knowing enough / of grief / to speak / truer words.'” —Katherena Vermette, award-winning author of The Break
“What vision, what musicality! This astounding and brilliant examination of love and its discontents reminds me of Anne Carson’s theory that love turns us into anthropologists of our own lives. From Benaway’s day/break (her best book yet), we might learn how to democratize love’s liberatory possibilities. How lucky are we to be reading in the time of Gwen Benaway!” —Billy-Ray Belcourt, award-winning author of NDN Coping Mechanisms
11 of the Most Anticipated Books by Indigenous Authors For the First Half of 2020 —Sarah Neilson, Literary Hub Book Marks
2020 Spring Preview: Fiction and Poetry —Quill and Quire
Most Anticipated: Spring 2020 Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
“This is a book-length poem working through, and working towards, living comfortably and openly and finally within the body, and attempting to leave trauma and violence perpetrated by others well behind.” —rob mclennan
29 Works of Canadian Poetry to Watch for in Spring 2020 —CBC Books
25 Books Relevant to Your Queer Feminist Interests Coming Out Spring 2020 —Autostraddle
Native Tongues: Indigenous Poetry Feature —Publishers Weekly
Spring Books Preview: 38 of the Best New Reads in Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and Gardening —Becky Toyne, The Globe and Mail
DiscoverVerse: Gwen Benaway + day/break —All Lit Up
“If You Live Fully, You Will Write Fully” Gwen Benaway on Writing Memoir, Keeping Balanced, and Learning From The Past —Open Book
“The essence of day/break is contained in the title’s forward slash: the line between clarity/light/warmth and coming apart. day/break takes place just past the last moment before everything changed. It’s still in the breaking, not the days after. Yet Benaway’s insistence on naming what can be named and claiming what can be claimed, in this season, makes day/break an uplifting book, despite all the subtle and lasting tragedies it outlines.” —Stacey Pratt, Anomaly
Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She is the author of three previous collections of poetry—Ceremonies for the Dead, Passage, and Holy Wild, winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. It was also a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry, and the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature, and was longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She is the editor of an anthology of fantasy short stories titled Maiden Mother and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. She has been a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada, and her personal essay, “A Body Like A Home,” was the Gold Prize Winner for the National Magazine Awards in Personal Journalism. She is also currently editing a book of creative nonfiction, trans girl in love. day/break is her fourth book of poetry. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute.