Gwen Benaway

Gwen Benaway is a trans woman of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013, her second collection of poetry, Passage, was released in 2016 from Kegedonce Press and her third collection of poetry, What I Want is Not What I Hope For, is forthcoming from Bookthug in 2018.In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker’s Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received an Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer’s Trust of Canada.

Latest from Gwen Benaway

Yes, Canadian rom-coms are their own thing — and they say more about us than you might think

In the underappreciated subgenre, it's as much about the places as the people.
Point of View

On the importance of trans joy — even if it's just finding comfort in watching Schitt's Creek

Gwen Benaway believes that joy is essential to survival, especially as the world gets darker and more difficult for trans folks.

These '90s singer-songwriters kicked down the door for shameless feminism and vulnerability

Canadian chanteuses like Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette and Deborah Cox sang about their lives without filtering out any of the realness.

How watching YTV in the '90s influenced an entire generation of artists to 'keep it weird'

YTV's strange and often surreal programming choices created a wave of cultural phenomena that was uniquely Canadian and the best kind of weird.
Point of View

7 years later, Being Erica is still dismantling myths of young womanhood

On the anniversary of the series finale, writer Gwen Benaway celebrates the TV show's "vibrant emotional heart."
Point of View

Decolonial love: These Indigenous artists are taking back the self-love that colonialism stole

Meet the two-spirit and queer Indigenous creators fighting back against racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia by celebrating "decolonial love."
Point of View

These are groundbreaking times for trans literature — here are your essential reads

From poetry to young adult fiction, trans writing has never been this visible. Poet Gwen Benaway shares your 'Trans Lit 101' reading list.
Point of View

I'm a trans artist, so don't assume I'm queer

What will it take for trans voices to be heard as distinct? Poet Gwen Benaway shares why she stopped taking offers to write about queer issues.
Point of View

How to write about your ex-lovers without feeling like a bad person

One confessional poet's guide to making the private public. If you're going to write about your relationships, be prepared to do it well.
Point of View

Dear Canadian writers: Stop apologizing for who you are and share your truth

If CanLit has one thing to offer the world, it should be our diversity of viewpoints. Poet Gwen Benaway says we need to share our lived experiences more boldly.
INT'L WOMEN'S DAY

A transgender poet reflects on her first year of experiencing womanhood

"What makes a woman? She does — and no one, no matter how much power they hold, can take that away from her."
Year in Review

'A bright and shimmering expanse of hope': Celebrating the voices of trans women in 2016

Coming out and transitioning made 2016 the most difficult year of poet Gwen Benaway's life — but she found herself between the pages.
Point of View

Why diverse literary festivals are essential for emerging voices

Toronto's Naked Heart kicks off its second edition this weekend, and it's already the largest LGBTQ literary festival in the world.
POINT OF VIEW

Why all Canadians need to follow in the example of Gord Downie

Two-spirited poet Gwen Benaway reflects on the dark legacy addressed by Gord Downie's new project Secret Path.