day/break by Gwen Benaway


day/break by Gwen Benaway


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.

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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

Press Coverage:

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

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.

April 2, 2020 | Poetry
7.75×5.25 inches | 104 pages
Trade Paper ISBN 9781771665735