Books·Canadian

Holy Wild

Holy Wild is a poetry collection by Gwen Benaway.

Gwen Benaway

In her third collection of poetry, Holy Wild, Gwen Benaway explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans women in expansive lyric poems. She holds up the Indigenous trans body as a site of struggle, liberation and beauty. A confessional poet, Benaway narrates her sexual and romantic intimacies with partners as well as her work to navigate the daily burden of transphobia and violence. She examines the intersections of Indigenous and trans experience through autobiographical poems and continues to speak to the legacy of abuse, violence and colonial erasure that defines Canada. Her sparse lines, interwoven with English and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), illustrate the wonder and power of Indigenous trans womanhood in motion. Holy Wild is not an easy book, as Benaway refuses to give any simple answers, but it is a profoundly vibrant and beautiful work filled with a transcendent grace. (From Book*Hug Press)

Gwen Benaway is a poet of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. Her other collections include Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage. She lives in Toronto.

Holy Wild won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry.

Interviews with Gwen Benaway

Anishinaabe and Métis poet Gwen Benaway always knew something about the body she was born into wasn't right. “I really felt like the first 28 years of my life I was living a lie,” said Benaway. “I knew something was wrong the whole time … I was living in the wrong gender.” 9:41
We find out how Gwen Benaway wrote her poetry collection "Passage." 2:58

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