CO/NOTATIONS, by Sarah Cavar (PRINT)


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“A critically hybrid text, Cavar’s CO/NOTATIONS explores what it means to ‘unwoman’ as an artistic craft, theoretical methodology, and ontological position. Through lyrical rumination and a braided deconstruction of gender, ‘unwomaning’ becomes the shedding of normative gender roles, the expansion of femininity beyond the biological category of ‘female,’ and an experimental reckoning into ‘transreality.’ How can we understand transness beyond medical, legal, and social categories? What are the radical potentialities of trans aesthetics, as we consider gender’s psychic and material affects on/in the body-mind? How can we engage in conversations about gender under a narrative of autonomy and transformative (un)belonging? The speaker asks, ‘What if I (still) don’t love my body and never did?’ Maybe coming into transreality is not the promise of belonging in/to one’s body, but the fierce and unrelenting longing to find happiness and love outside the cisgender realities that confine us.”

—MT Vallarta, Author of What You Refuse to Remember



“Cavar is a sharp wordsmith in the soft, ethereal realm of gender. These essays are enrapturing and witty—you can hear the genuine heartbeat in every one. Whether you’re someone who seeks words for your gender, someone who dances in its fluidity with no need to define it, or living anywhere in between: this text is a wealth of exploration.”

—Sofia Fey, Founder of the Luminaries Poetry Workshop and Poetry Editor at Hooligan Magazine



“In CO/NOTATIONS, Cavar offers up ‘frag/mince’ of an intimate reflection on transreality and trans existence. In a delicate yet powerful concert of poetic and didactic movements, Cavar machetes identity norms, constructions, and objectifications to reveal the limitless complexities and continuums of the human body. ‘The body begins as forest,’ Cavar writes. This work takes us on a journey through the en/trails, entangled limbs, and dense thicket of selves selving, selves salving, always evolving, always undone.”

—Kate Siklosi, Author of Selvage



“With nothing short of laser precision, Cavar exposes the ideological deficiencies of language, medicine, and gender that prevail in American culture and subsequently erase those who refuse conformity. Unflinchingly, this author calls attention to the tokenization of embodied trauma within creative writing; they refuse to “obfuscate [trauma] with beauty” choosing instead to show us pinched nipples, blobs of testosterone gel, and endless viscera. In a time of great confusion and peril, Cavar’s voice is a clear bell ringing out in defiance, calling all us deviants to come and bear witness.”

—Rita Mookerjee, Author of False Offering (JackLeg Press ‘23) and Co-Founder of Honey Literary

[sarah] Cavar is a PhD candidate and transMad writer-about-town. Their debut novel, Failure to Comply, is forthcoming with featherproof books (2024). Cavar is editor-in-chief of Stone of Madness press, and has had work published in CRAFT Literary, Split Lip Magazine, Electric Lit, and elsewhere. More at,, and @cavarsarah on twitter.


by Sarah Cavar and Gutslut Press.

ISBN: 978-1-312-48530-3

First Edition: June 2023.

Published in the United States by Gutslut Press.

RELEASE DATE: June 30th, 2023




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