Jessica Bebenek is a poet, non-fiction writer, and transdisciplinary artist who splits her time between Toronto & Montreal. She is completing her MA in English with a Creative Writing focus at Concordia University. Bebenek graduated with an Honours BA from York University where she double-majored in English & Creative Writing. While at York, she won several awards for her poetry and play writing, and completed a creative thesis exploring conceptual poetics & fairy tales.
Bebenek’s poetry, short fiction, and other writings have been published in PRISM, CV2, Vallum, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Canadian Millennial Poets, among other places. She writes a series called 'Talking Trash' at Floral Manifesto in which she discusses the ethics and practicalities of living a waste-free lifestyle. She has written as a regular contributor for The Town Crier, The Flying Walrus, and Uncharted Sounds Magazine. Her third solo poetry chapbook, Fourth Walk, was published by Desert Pets Press in June 2017. She is currently completing the manuscript for her first full collection of poetry entitled No One Knows Us There. She continues to work on her non-fiction manuscript titled Writing For Men, a selection from which was recently shortlisted for the Prism International Creative Non-Fiction Contest.
Bebenek is the founder of the micro-press Grow & Grow which has been publishing innovative chapbooks of poetry, prose, and visual art by emerging writers since 2012 (currently on hiatus). Bebenek was the Associate Poetry Curator of the Emerging Writers Reading Series until its recent end, after having previously served as Show Photographer. During summer 2016, Bebenek worked at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry as Education & Community Outreach Coordinator for their Poetry for our Future! literacy program.
Bebenek is completing her final year at Concordia University where she is an English & Creative Writing graduate student studying poetry & the poetics of form, new confessional writing, intersectional feminism, and the culture & technologies of female subjectivity. She works as a Teaching Assistant and as a Coordinator at the Centre for Expanded Poetics where she organized the Occult Poetics Symposium.
She is currently exhibiting fine arts work in textiles & weaving which engages with poetry & translation, a selection of which is featured on The Volta. Her durational performance piece, “The Waste Land”, will be featured at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche 2017, and her series “k2tog” will be featured this Fall at the Gladstone Hotel‘s twelfth annual Hard Twist exhibition. A chapbook of her knitting patterns for poems, k2tog, will be published by Berlin’s Broken Dimanche Press in September 2017.
Follow her account @notyrmuse on Instagram, where you can find photography and writing which have been studied in CEGEP and graduate classrooms across Canada. Here, you can find selections of new work, political writing, and fierce selfies.