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Passage by Gwen Benaway

Passage by Gwen Benaway
Passage | Gwen Benaway
Gwen Benaway’s second collection reflects truths

Neyaashiinigmiing, ON (Jan. 19, 2017) – Kegedonce Press is thrilled to introduce Passage, written by award-winning poet Gwen Benaway. Passage is a book burning with a beautiful intensity and reveals Benaway as one of the most powerful emerging poets writing in Indigenous poetics today.

In this second collection of poetry, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender.

Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet’s first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience. In Passage, the poet seeks to reconcile herself to the land, the history of her ancestors, and her separation from her partner and family by invoking the beauty and power of her ancestral waterways.

Benaway is a powerful voice in the emerging generation of Indigenous writers who are transforming our all-too-simplistic expectations of identity, embodiment, and kinship, in all the very best ways.
-Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture, University of British Columbia

Gwen Benaway’s sophomore poetry collection is an astounding, expansive pool of fresh water in Canadian literature. As she undulates, she blurs the lines between the body of the poet and the reader, inviting us throughPassage, to reflect, cleanse, drown and surface a-new.
-Vivek Shraya, author of She of the Mountains and even this page is white

Gwen Benaway is of Anishinaabe and Métis descent.  Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013 by Kegedonce Press. As an emerging Two-Spirited Trans poet, she has been described as the spiritual love child of Tomson Highway and Anne Sexton. In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker’s Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received a Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer’s Trust of Canada. Her work has been published and anthologized internationally. She and her many vintage dresses can be found on Instagram @gwenbenaway

Passage can be found at, or by ordering at a local bookstore. For more information about Gwen Benaway or to request a review copy, please contact Kegedonce Press at

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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