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Marinna Benzon, Author of Millennial Dogeater, "Be Aware of What You Are"

Marinna's chapbook, “Millennial Dogeater” is a collection of poems that voices honest and subversive narratives of a queer first-generation woman navigating her position in America.

The least enjoyable part of a college class is filling out that time-consuming evaluation at the end of the semester, but for San Francisco’s Marinna Benzon, it was the beginning of her creative writing career. Poet, actor, and filmmaker, Benzon found her love for the arts of communication while writing a student teacher review.

“I found myself inadvertently interested in creative writing from one instance where I had to write a student teacher review in a high school history class that I despised. Shortly thereafter, my history teacher stopped me in the halls and said that though the content was tough to hear, he believed that I should dive into creative writing,” said Benzon.

Prior to Benzon’s creative course evaluation, she had a journal growing up just like any other 12 year olds but along with writing about her life as a middle schooler she got into writing classical poetry. As time went on and her relationship with poetry grew, she has had the opportunity to be published in several magazines and blogs such as “280 Characters” in Goat’s Milk Magazine, “Sit This Way” in Zanna Magazine Issue #4, “I Want to Hold Your Hand in Public” Firefly Collective Literary Blog, and “Deviant Woman” in Zanna Magazine Issue #3.

Now for some, poetry may be having a set topic and going from there, but Marinna’s process is slightly different. She tries not to objectify her poems or set specific targets on what her piece is going to be about. Instead, she allows experiences to do the writing for her.

Often, I find myself relishing and lingering on displaced feelings or a particular experience and want to place it somewhere other than my mind,” Benzon said.

Along with Benzon’s proficient career in poetry, she also succeeded in writing her very first chapbook, Millennial Dogeater, which is a collection of poems that voices honest and subversive narratives of a first-generation queer woman of color carefully navigating her position in America.

“Writing my chapbook has been a rather long process due to the fact that this collection has been built from poems from years ago up until now. The creative process was irrevocably rewarding for me to have so much creative control and to construct this chapbook in a way that best represents myself,” said Benzon.

Marinna Benzon is well-rounded in all aspects of her communications career as she is also a screenwriter, producer, and actor.

“I wholeheartedly believe that if you have the capabilities and desire to do both, you should go for it. Both sides to the camera do require a different skill sets, and also conclude with different kinds of fulfillments; I’m incredibly passionate about both sides of the coin," said Benzon.

Her acting career features a YouTube series called "Polite Cussing," which was a San Francisco based indie production company that Benzon, and a few other San Francisco State BECA graduates, were a part of. The series targeted inclusiveness, creating content for all people, and building a platform for all narratives. She’s even dabbled in comedy while studying theater as a minor at San Francisco State University.

“I studied comedy while I was studying theater in college and fell in undisputed love with the art of it. What I feel passionately about is how sketch comedy can bring people a place of commonality. Comedy, much like anything, breeds a community of like-minded individuals and that brings me so much comfort and joy to find my place in this community,” said Benzon.

Although Benzon’s accomplishments are so vast, she faced struggles with lack of opportunity and adversity due to her sexual identity.

“As a first generation queer woman of color, there are a set of different rules in Hollywood and though the call for diversity has been great, it does not mean that we do not continue to face closed doors,” said Benzon.

No one’s career journey is a walk in the park. There are always going to be challenges and setbacks that come along with it, but that’s all a part of the journey. Benzon knew that her career path was not going to be easy but her story wouldn’t be the same without acknowledging what she overcame to get where she is today.

“I have had a journey that has been constantly up and down; I feel entirely fortunate to be in the place that I am able to write, create and perform in the spaces and with the people that hold the same ideals as I,” said Benzon.

Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t. Take it from Marinna Benzon, who’s talented and has accomplished so much in many different fields, but still has had challenges. So why should you settle for one job when you can be great at them all? If one thing interests you, go for it. If five things interest you, tackle them all, and do so effortlessly like she does.

“Be aware of what you are, by which I mean, be aware of what you are capable of doing, what potential you foresee in yourself and, oddly enough, be aware of what you can bring. The right people will cross your path and the right opportunities will present itself, you just have to keep moving,” said Benzon.


You can follow Marinna Benzon here @marinna.benzon


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