45 episodes

This is a podcast where I interview contemporary poets in trans and gender-variant poetry. We discuss their literary contributions, methods, insights, and lives.

Waves Breaking Avren Keating

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

This is a podcast where I interview contemporary poets in trans and gender-variant poetry. We discuss their literary contributions, methods, insights, and lives.

    Interview with Kamden Ishmael Hilliard

    Interview with Kamden Ishmael Hilliard

    Finally, after a long break, Waves Breaking returns with this interview with Kamden Ishmael Hilliard. Kam generously shares their time with me to discuss their debut book of poems, MissSettl, out last year with Nightboat Books. We go in deep to discuss their thoughts around the sentence, modes of speech, writing poems within this current era of late-stage capitalism, and teaching students.
    Kamden Ishmael Hilliard was born in La Jolla, CA; their fam settled on O'ahu, Hawai'i. Kamden holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Kamden, a nonbinary Black settler who goes by Kam, works on issues of surveillance, race, queerness, contemporary art and American politics. They're thankful for support from The National YoungArts Foundation, The Davidson Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, and The UCROSS Foundation. Kam’s writing appears in West Branch, The Black Warrior Review, Tagvverk, Denver Quarterly, The Columbia Review, and other publications.
    Formerly, they served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, held Maytag, Teaching-Writing, and Pfluflaught Fellowships at the University of Iowa, and were the 2020-2022 Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, a reader at Flypaper Lit, and a board member at VIDA: Women In Literary Arts.

    Kamden's website
    Kamden's Instagram
    Go buy MissSettl!
    Mentioned in the interview:
    Joyelle McSweeney
    Jayson P. Smith
    “Poem About My Rights” by June Jordan
    bell hooks
    Hoodie Allen (I’m sorry lol)
    Punahou School Hawaii
    Iowa Writers Workshop and the Cold War
    James Baldwin
    Nene (bird)
    The nene population is on the rebound from its endangered status
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Huge plug for everyone to listen to the audiobook version of Beloved read by Toni Morrison herself. Find it on Libby!
    Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (film)
    My poem with Judge Doom in it is “After Saturn Ate His Own Kid” at the bottom of this page.
    West Side Story (film)
    Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
    Kam’s Anti-recommendations:
    Apocalypse Now (film)
    The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    The Sandman (TV series)
    This show's Editor and Social Media Manager is Mitchel Davidovitz. 
    The Sound of Waves Breaking is a clip of my cousin Ian and me (fake band name: Diminutive Denizens) doing a cover of “Dig My Grave” by They Might Be Giants. It’s on this cover album of Apollo 18 if you want to listen to the whole thing. There are a bunch of other covers you can listen to there for free, including a very dumb skit my friend Greg and I did for one of the “Fingertips.” Greg’s the host of the excellent podcast This Might Be a Podcast which I’ve also guested on many times. Check it out!

    • 47 min
    Interview with Yanyi

    Interview with Yanyi

    Photo of Yanyi, taken by him
    In this episode I spoke with Yanyi about his new book, Dream of the Divided Field, and his newsletter, The Reading.
    Yanyi is the author of Dream of the Divided Field (One World Random House, 1 March 2022) and The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019), winner of the 2018 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. His work has been featured in or at NPR’s All Things Considered, New York Public Library, Granta, and New England Review, and he is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Poets House. He holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University and was most recently poetry editor at Foundry. Currently, he teaches creative writing at large and gives writing advice at The Reading.
    Yanyi's website
    You can purchase Dream of the Divided Field here
    Yanyi's Twitter
    Yanyi's Instagram
    Various books, movies, podcasts, etc. mentioned in this episode:
    Algorithm crowd sounds
    Surviving R. Kelly docuseries
    Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew
    AI generated imagery
    WOMBO Dream
    Virgina Woolf’s audio BBC interview
    When We Were Young Festival and its much parodied poster
    Black Mountain Poets
    Olson’s "Projective Verse" manifesto, some explicit field talk
    Lydia Davis’s "Hand" story (this is the whole story lol):
    "Beyond the hand holding this book that I’m reading, I see another hand lying idle and slightly out of focus — my extra hand."
    (more stories here)
    "The Cows" chapbook
    Yanyi's newsletter
    Letter on why he left Substack
    Yanyi at the Poetry Project discussing de las Rivas's "Black Sun" and fascist dogwhistling in contemporary poetry
    Ghost, the platform Yanyi uses to now send his newsletters
    bell hooks’s Teaching to Transgress full PDF
    Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak documentary
    Laura Engels Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series
    FEELING ASIAN podcast episodes:
    An Evening With Two Asian Therapists (feat. Peter Adams, Ph.D and Melissa Yao, Ph.D)
    Asian Seeking Asian (therapists)
    Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
    Host and Producer: Avren Keating
    Sound of Waves Breaking: Sounds from this video of Merlin, my sweet 5-year-old Frenchie that died of a brain tumor in the time between recording and editing this episode. I love you, little bubs. 

    • 52 min
    Interview with Sarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor

    Interview with Sarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor

    In this interview, I spoke with Sarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor about their latest publication Already Knew You Were Coming. We discuss Igbo cosmology and time, vengeance poetry, their process in writing this chapbook, and more.
    Sarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor (They/Them) is a queer Igbo-American Poet, Educator, and Facilitator who descends of a powerful ancestry. They believe that storytelling is magick, and they speak to practice traditions of Igbo orature. When they witness, their forebears are pleased. Sarah has been writing for a minute and is learning something new about their voice each year, but one thing they’re proud to share is that they have a chapbook out with Game Over Books! When Sarah's not writing; they’re probably sitting under a tree, reading about Love, dancing with friends or cooking a bomb-ass meal like the true Taurus they are.
    Go buy Already Knew You Were Coming
    Sarah’s Instagram
    Sarah’s website
    Books, artists, musicians, etc. mentioned in this episode:
    Mithsuca Berry
    Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony
    Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989
    I.S. Jones’s Spells of My Name
    Dena Igutsi’s Cut Woman
    Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
    Host and Producer: Avren Keating
    Sound of Waves Breaking: Melody Loop 95 BPM, DaveJf

    • 35 min
    Interview with Cody-Rose Clevidence

    Interview with Cody-Rose Clevidence

    In this episode, I spoke with Cody-Rose Clevidence about their latest publication, Aux Arc / Trypt Ich, out with Nightboat Books. We dug into language, exploring motif, grief, love—all that good stuff. 
    Cody-Rose Clevidence is the author of BEAST FEAST (2014) and Flung/Throne (2018), both from Ahsahta Press, Listen My Friend This is the Dream I Dreamed Last Night from The Song Cave and Aux Arc / Trypt Ich as well as several handsome chapbooks (flowers and cream, NION, garden door press, Auric).  They live in the Arkansas Ozarks with their medium sized but lion-hearted dog, Birdie and an absolute lunatic cat.  
    Cody-Rose's Instagram
    Buy Aux Arc / Trypt Ich!
    Poets, books, etc. mentioned in this episode:
    Cody-Rose Clevidence's BEAST FEAST  Turquoise waters of the Ozarks "Apophatic" was the word I was trying to remember! I can't read this work because of the paywall, but it seems like it might be useful in exploring Manley Hopkins's contemplations of God. 
    Algernon Charles Swinburne
    William Wordsworth
    English literature's Romanticism  Gerard Manley Hopkins Stephen Taylor's Building Thoreau's Cabin Jerome Rothenberg (editor), Technicians of the Sacred 
    Jerome Rothenberg (editor), Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas Guy Deutscher's The Unfolding of Language Guy Deutscher's Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages George Lakoff and Mark Johnson's Metaphors We Live By  
    Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
    Host and Producer: Avren Keating
    Sound of Waves Breaking: "Arkansas" by John Linnell. At last, one half of TMBG makes it onto the pod.

    • 37 min
    Interview with féi hernandez

    Interview with féi hernandez

    In this episode, I spoke with féi hernandez about Hood Criatura, their poetry collection released in 2020. We also spoke about their incredible skills as an illustrator, and féi recommends some fantastic reads.
    féi hernandez (b.1993 Chihuahua, Mexico) is a trans, Inglewood- raised, formerly undocumented immigrant artist, writer, healer. They have been published in POETRY, Pank Magazine, Oxford Review of Books, Frontier Poetry, The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, amongst others. They are a Define American Fellow for 2021 and are currently the Board President of Gender Justice Los Angeles. féi is the author of the full-length poetry collection Hood Criatura (Sundress Publications 2020) which was on NPR’s Best Books of 2020. féi collects Pokémon plushies.
    féi’s website
    féi’s instagram
    Purchase Hood Criatura
    Poets, books, etc. mentioned in this episode:
    Gloomy the Naughty Grizzly, anime series
    Sailor Moon, anime series
    Natalie Diaz’s My Brother Was an Aztec
    Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem
    Ambar Lucid and her song “Story to Tell”
    féi’s illustrations Hood Criatura on Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Go leave a review :)
    Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
    The Sound of Waves Breaking is “Project - 3_30_21, 6.55 PM.wav” by bradygalp123

    • 39 min
    Interview with Larkin Christie

    Interview with Larkin Christie

    In this episode, I spoke with Larkin Christie about their book gather all your supple creatures. 
    Larkin Christie is a queer poet living on unceded Pocumtuc land in what is currently known as Western Massachusetts. Their second collection, gather all your supple creatures, is out now. Their creative work draws on experiences as an educator, organizer, and dancer. 
    Larkin's website
    Larkin's Instagram
    Go buy gather all your supple creatures!
    Quotes, workshop, and media mentioned in this episode:
    In Surreal Life, workshop
    Honeyfitz, band
    From Larkin: "I just did some research and the quote is actually by Shelly Smith, published in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. It is 'Deciding whom to publish, whose words are important or good or right, whose message is valuable, is about politics. Self-publishing is about power, about taking the responsibility to disseminate your words yourself.'
    Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
    Sound of Waves Breaking: "Larks in Limburg, Netherlands.mp3" by @robkuster

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

ejmk1646 ,

thank you

thank you for this comfort and all of these thoughts articulating inside of me

River Fujimoto ,

Wonderfully Illuminating

Gotta start by saying I downloaded iTunes to write this review because I'm so in love with this show. I have much respect for what Avren is doing in the community. This podcast has helped me immensely in finding new poets and in growing as poet and a writer myself. The conversations are always meaningful and wonderful to listen to. It's a wonderful way to listen to the community.

Macchiato Søndag ,

A Vital Cultural Reference

I suspect this series in time will come to be viewed as a vital cultural reference. Keating demonstrates a level of preparation and knowledge that does great justice to the talented poets with whom they have chose to converse. Warm and empathic yet served by a keen and incisive intellect these interviews serve as a remarkable introduction to the work and thinking of established and up and coming transgender poets. I strongly doubt you will view time listening to this podcast as anything other than time very well spent indeed.

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