This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

July-August 2017

REVIEW: Gwen Benaway’s new poetry collection explores trauma, gender identity, and ancestry

A look inside Passage

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

By Gwen Benaway
Kegedonce Press, $16.00

In her second collection of poetry, award-winning poet Gwen Benaway journeys through ancestral and geographic origins, trauma history, and gender identity. Broken into five sections named after the Great Lakes, the poems within Passage are a testament to Benaway’s survival: of violence, of rejection, of being treated recklessly. Through grief, loss, exile, and absence, Benaway asserts that there is no right way to hold hurt—though there are quite brilliant, evocative ways to write about it. Benaway does just that

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