Waves Breaking

A podcast in which Avren Keating interviews other transgender, genderqueer, and/or gender variant poets about their life and work in order to figure out their place in the world.
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Sep 11, 2020

This month I got to speak with Kama La Mackerel about their just-released book, ZOM-FAM, published by Metonymy Press. We go in-depth in discussion about their decolonial artistic practices and inspiration for the book.

Kama La Mackerel is a Montreal-based Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. Kama’s work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and self- and collective-empowerment. They believe that aesthetic practices have the power to build resilience and act as resistance to the status quo, thereby enacting an anticolonial practice through cultural production.

Kama has exhibited and performed their work internationally and their writing in English, French and Kreol has appeared in publications both online and in print. They have lived in far-flung places such as Pune, India and Peterborough, Ontario. ZOM-FAM, their debut poetry collection is published by Metonymy Press.

Kama's website

Media, artists, books, etc mentioned in this episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking: "Ay Ay Lolo" by Menwar
Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
Jul 28, 2020

In this episode, I spoke with poet kiki nicole about their manuscript, Autobiography of the boi Venus which not published (yet!), their embroidery work, film work, and current interests.

kiki nicole is a Black, Queer, and Non-binary multimedia artist and poet based in Charlotte, North Carolina.. They’ve received invitations to fellowships such as Pink Door Writing Retreat, The Watering Hole, and Winter Tangerine. kiki nicole is currently a reader for Muzzle Magazine. They work to explore a Black, queer, femme & genderless universe that un/bodies, un/genders, & re/news, kiki hopes to lend a voice for the void in which Black femmes not only exist in plain view, but thrive.

kiki’s site

kiki’s instagram

Donation link to support kiki

Media, artists, books, etc mentioned in this episode:

The sound of waves breaking is Sylvester's “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).”

This episode was edited and social media managed by Mitchel Davidovitz.

Stay safe, everyone!!

Apr 3, 2020
Như and I discussed her recent chapbook A System of Satellites and her writing practice, finding dignity as a trans poet, and writing past ingrained fear and doubt.
She also asked me questions. Hear me stumble trying to answer questions about my writing practice and how I approach writing with personal experiences.

Như Xuân Nguyễn is a queer and trans Vietnamese American poet and writer. A Kundiman Fellow and a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, she won the 2018 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship with her debut chapbook A System of Satellites. Her work has appeared in The OffingDELUGE (Radioactive Moat)The JournalThe Shade Journal, and Juked. She is currently based in New York City, where she lives with her two cats, Arya and Azula. 

Như's website
Buy Như's chapbook
Note: I refer to a NOLA poetry fest panel that is no longer happening due to COVID-19. Wash your hands and stay at home, everyone.
People and Books Mentioned:
Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
The Sound of Waves Breaking: Lunar Wind, @Walter_Odington
Feb 25, 2020
This episode, I got to talk with sung! sung is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from Korea. They are the author of What About the Rest of Your Life (Perfect Day Publishing) and Flowers Are for Pussies (Ghost City Press). Their work has appeared in Nat. Brut, Kweli Journal, Contrary, The James Franco Review, The Wanderer, and Crab Fat Magazine.
Media, artists, books, etc mentioned in this episode:
The sound of waves breaking is "Wynd" by weerm
This episode's editor and social media manager is Mitchel Davidovitz
Dec 18, 2019

In this episode, I had the opportunity to talk with Zefyr Lisowski about her book Blood Box.

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans and queer writer, artist, and North Carolinian currently living in NYC. She's a Poetry Co-editor for Apogee Journal and the author of Blood Box, winner of the Black River Editor's Choice Award from Black Lawrence Press and forthcoming fall 2019; she's also the author of the microchap Wolf Inventory (Ghost City Press, 2018) and is a 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop Fellow.

Zefyr's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lit Hub, Nat. Brut., Muzzle Magazine, and DIAGRAM, among many other places; she's also received support from Sundress Academy for the Arts, McGill University, the New York Live Ideas Fest, and the 2019 CUNY Graduate Center Adjunct Incubator Grant for the arts. A 2018 nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she also goes by Zef.

Zefyr Lisowski's website
Go buy Blood Box! 

Media, artists, books, etc mentioned in this episode:

Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
Sound of Waves Breaking is "Cicada Single" by Jedo.

Nov 7, 2019

This episode, I had the chance to speak with Cyrée Jarelle Johnson about their book, SLINGSHOT.

Cyrée Jarelle Johnson (He/They) is a poet and writer from Piscataway, NJ. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, Wussy, The Wanderer, Vice, Rewire News, The Root, and Nat. Brut among other publications. They earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University with support from Davis Putter Scholarship Fund.

SLINGSHOT, his first collection of poetry, is available now from Nightboat Books. Development of the work was supported by Astraea Foundations' Global Arts Fund, Culture/Strike Climate Change and Environmental Justice Fellowship, and Rewire News Disabled Writers Fellowship.

They tweet with significant queer millenial ennui at @CyreeJarelle 

Cyrée's website 
Cyrée's TED Talk "What is Autism Neutrality?" 

Authors and books mentioned in the episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking was "Natural Disaster" by @davidthomascairns 

Editor, Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz
Host, Producer: Avren Keating

Aug 21, 2019

It's been a minute! Thanks for your patience as I've slogged through life. In this episode I spoke with Samuel Ace about his book Our Weather Our Sea.

Samuel Ace is a trans/genderqueer poet and sound artist. He is the author of several books, most recently Our Weather Our Sea (Black Radish 2019), the newly re-issued Meet Me There: Normal Sex and Home in three days. Don’t wash., (Belladonna* Germinal Texts 2019), and Stealth with poet Maureen Seaton. He is the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writer Award and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry, as well as a two-time finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the National Poetry Series. Recent work can be found in Poetry, PEN America, Best American Experimental Poetry, Vinyl, and many other journals and anthologies. He currently teaches poetry and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts.

Sam's website

Buy Our Weather Our Sea

Also buy Meet Me There: Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash.

Books, poets, artists, etc mentioned in this episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking: Samuel Ace's "These Nights" 

Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz

May 21, 2019

I had the opportunity to talk with S. Brook Corfman at AWP this year! S. Brook Corfman is the author of Luxury, Blue Lace, chosen by Richard Siken for the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize, and two chapbooks: the letterpress Meteorites from DoubleCross Press and the digital collection of performance pieces The Anima from GaussPDF. The recipient of grants and fellowships from Lambda Literary, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, recent work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, Muzzle, The Offing, Territory, and Quarterly West (Best of the Net Nomination), among other places. Born and raised in Chicago, Sam now lives in a turret in Pittsburgh.

S's website

Luxury, Blue Lace

Meteorites (chapbook)

Writers, topics, etc, mentioned in the show:

This episode's Editor and Social Media Manager is Mitchel Davidovitz

The Sound of Waves Breaking is a field recording of kids playing at a park during the day by JohnnyBeCrafty

Apr 16, 2019

Hello, hello! Happy Spring! I'm here with another interview for you fine people. I had the opportunity to interview B'ellana Johannx aka Chloe Rose about their two upcoming chapbooks! 

B'ellana Johannx's gender is Rilke’s dark god: a webbed scrim made of a thousand roots drinking in silence. Also known as Chloe Rose, she/they are a fat, queer, femme, non-binary womxn-of-color living with disabilities and their cats Franz and Pepper in Tacoma, WA. Rose/Johannx has been published in The Wanderer, Dream Pop, and Aspasiology, with Pushcart and Bettering American Poetry nominations henny, so watch out! Tweet them about conlangs, antifa, witchcraft, and drag names @llanaandsuchas. If you are a faggot, you are her/their kin and they love you. May the peace of the Goddess and God be upon you. #SMIB

B'ellana's website

B'ellana's Twitter 

Writers, books, ideas, musicians mentioned:

"The Sound of Waves Breaking" is titled "Ghost Merkel Beat" by stanrams and made me laugh my ass off.

This episode was edited and media managed by Mitchel Davidovitz

Feb 4, 2019

I'm back! Hello! I got to talk with Andrea Abi-Karam this time, and I had a blast catching up with them about their latest book "EXTRATRANSMISSION."

Andrea Abi-Karam is an arab-american genderqueer punk poet-performer cyborg, writing on the art of killing bros, the intricacies of cyborg bodies, trauma & delayed healing. Their chapbook, THE AFTERMATH (Commune Editions, 2016), attempts to queer Fanon’s vision of how poetry fails to inspire revolution. Simone White selected their second assemblage, Villainy for forthcoming publication with Les Figues. They toured with Sister Spit March 2018 & are hype to live in New York. EXTRATRANSMISSION [Kelsey Street Press, 2019] is their first book.

This episode's editor and social media manager was Mitchel Davidovitz.

The "Sound of Waves Breaking" was Spray Tan's "SOLOSLUT."

Oct 26, 2018

This month I got to talk to June Gehringer about her latest book. June Gehringer is the author of "I Love You It Looks Like Rain" (Be About It 2017), and "I Don't Write About Race" (Civil Coping Mechanisms 2018), the latter of which was the winner of Civil Coping Mechanisms's 2017 Mainline contest. She lives in Philadelphia and has more crushes than she can count. She tweets about it @june_gehringer, and if you're a press interested in her next book you can reach her at .

She's also an editor over at tenderness lit

I Don't Write About Race can be purchased here


Writers, presses, musicians mentioned in the show:

Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz

The Sound of Waves Breaking

Sep 1, 2018

In this episode I got to speak to Chase Berggrun about their new book R E D (Birds, LLC, 2018). Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Pinwheel, PEN Poetry Series, Sixth Finch, Diagram, The Offing, Prelude, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. They received their MFA from New York University. They are Poetry Editor at Big Lucks.

Chase's website

Chase's Twitter

Go Buy R E D

List of things and people mentioned in this episode:


Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz

Sound of Waves Breaking

Jul 17, 2018

This month I got to talk with Luis Lopez-Maldonado. Prepare yourself, this episode gets a little more sexy than usual. Luis is a Xicanx poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry ReviewFoglifterThe Packinghouse ReviewPublic Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. He is currently a co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project

Follow Waves Breaking on Twitter at @WavesBreakPod, or email at

Editor and Social Media Manager: Mitchel Davidovitz

The Sound of Waves Breaking: LA/Orange County Metro

May 1, 2018

This month I got to chat with Kayleb Rae Candrilli. Kayleb is author of "What Runs Over," winner of the 2016 Pamet River Prize, with YesYes Books. "What Runs Over" is a 2017 Lambda Literary finalist for Transgender Poetry. Candrilli is published or forthcoming in Puerto del Sol, Booth, RHINO, Cream City Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Adroit, Bettering American Poetry, Boaat Press, Vinyl, CutBank, Muzzle, New Orleans Review, and many others.

They have served as the nonfiction editor of the Black Warrior Review and as a feature editor for NANO Fiction. They are now an Assistant Poetry Editor for Boaat Press. In 2015, Candrilli was a Lambda Literary Emerging Fellow in Nonfiction, and again in 2017 as a fellow in poetry. Kayleb is a Best of the Net winner and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes (in prose and poetry) and for Best New Poets. They were also a 2017 recipient of a Leeway Art and Change Grant.

Authors and music mentioned in this episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking is here:

This episode is edited by Mitchel Davidovitz.
Mitchel Davidovitz is also the Social Media Manager.

You can contact Avren on twitter @WavesBreakPod, and on Facebook at "Waves Breaking Podcast," and through email

Mar 20, 2018

This month(ish) I got to interview Nat Raha! Nat Raha is a poet and trans / queer activist, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her poetry includes two collections countersonnets (Contraband Books, 2013) and Octet (Veer Books, 2010); and numerous pamphlets including ‘de/compositions’ (Enjoy Your Homes Press, 2017), '£/€xtinctions' (sociopathetic distro, 2017), '[of sirens / body & faultlines]' (Veer Books, 2015), 'radio / threat' (sociopathetic distro, 2014) and 'mute exterior intimate' (Oystercatcher Press, 2013). She's performed and published her work internationally. Nat co-edited the Radical Transfeminism zine, and is currently finishing PhD in on queer Marxism and contemporary poetry at the University of Sussex. (if you go here, there's pdfs of £/€xtinctions, the first edition '[of sirens...], and 'radio/threat')

Ideas and writers discussed in this episode:

This episode was edited and social media managed by Mitchel Davidovitz

The Sound of Waves Breaking is from CadereSounds,

Jan 25, 2018

This month I got to speak with Chely Lima and Margaret Randall, the translator for his new collection of poetry What the Werewolf Told Them/ Le que los dijo el licantropo.

Chely Lima is a queer Cuban-American writer who has published numerous books (poetry, novel, short story, theater, literature for children) in his country of origin, and also in Spain, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Some of these books are the novels Lucrecia quiere decir perfidia (2015), Triángulos mágicos (2014) and Confesiones nocturnas (1994), as well as the poetry books Zona de silencio (2004), Discurso de la amante (2013), and Lo que les dijo el licántropo / What the Werewolf told them (2017). His texts have been translated into English, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Czech and Esperanto, and numerous selections and anthologies of literature from various parts of the world collect samples of his work. 

** Listeners can use the code WAVES for a 20% on ANY *OS* book directly through our online store, here: ** 

Books, authors, and ideas mentioned in this episode:

Alberto Serret
Editing and Social Media Management mangaed by none other than Mitchel Davidovitz
Sound of Waves Breaking: Wolves in Finland
Nov 3, 2017
This month I had the opportunity to interview H. Melt about the anthology they've just edited: Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation
H. Melt is a poet, activist, and educator whose work proudly celebrates Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has appeared many places including In These TimesThe Offing, and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and they've been named to Newcity's Lit 50 list, as well as Windy City Times' 30 under 30. H. Melt co-leads Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors and works at Women & Children First, Chicago’s feminist bookstore.
Writers, books and artists mentioned in this episode:
Jay Besemer
Troubling the Line anthology
H. Melt's book The Plural, The Blurring
H. Melt's website
Women and Children First Bookstore
Jesse Jacobs' work Crawl Space
Sound of Waves Breaking: butter melting in a pan
Editing and Marketing by: Mitchel Davidovitz
WE HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA: check out our new facebook page at
and our new Twitter account at @WavesBreakPod
You can, of course, always reach me at 
Sep 29, 2017

This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Venus Selenite in person while she started her first leg of her #RehabYearTour. Venus is a Bettering American Poetry 2016 nominee, a 2017 Pink Door Fellow, and one of the most notable trans women of color interdisciplinary artists in the United States. She is the author of two books: trigger and the fire been here. She lives in Washington, D.C. and the internet.

The Sound of Waves Breaking is by Chris Lynn, a recording of voices in Washington, D.C. near the Jefferson Memorial.
The editor is Mitchel Davidovitz, and the show is produced by me. 
Aug 11, 2017

This month I speak with Raquel Salas Rivera from their residence in Puerto Rico.

Raquel Salas Rivera es una poeta, traductora, ensayista y educadora puertorriqueña que vive y trabaja en Filadelfia. Ha publicado poemas, traducciones y ensayos en numerosas revistas y antologías; también ha publicado cuatro libros de poesía: Caneca de anhelos turbios (2011), oropel/tinsel (2016), huequitos/holies (2016) y tierra intermitente (2017). En el 2018, publicará el libro lo terciario/the tertiary con Timeless, Infinite Light. Actualmente, es editora contribuyente y traductora para The Wanderer. Si para Roque Dalton no existe revolución sin poesía, para Raquel no existe poesía sin Puerto Rico. Puedes aprender más sobre su trabajo si visitas

Raquel Salas Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, essayist, and educator living and working in Philadelphia. They have published poetry, translations, and essays in numerous anthologies and journals, and as well as four poetry books: Caneca de anhelos turbios (2011), oropel/tinsel (2016), huequitos/holies (2016), and tierra intermitente (2017). In 2018, Timeless, Infinite Light will publish their fifth book, lo terciario/the tertiary. Currently, they are a Contributing Editor at The Wanderer. If for Roque Dalton there is no revolution without poetry, for Raquel there is no poetry without Puerto Rico. You can find out more about their work at

Artists and other things mentioned in this month's episode

This episode was edited by Mitchel Davidovitz and produced by me.

The Sound of Waves Breaking is of the coquí hanging out at night, found on

Jul 4, 2017

I got to talk on the phone with poet Kenyatta JP Garcia and their most recent collection Slow Living

Kenyatta JP Garcia is the author of They Say, Slow Living and ROBOT. JP was raised in Brooklyn but currently resides in Albany, N.Y. where they received degrees in English and linguistics. They are an editor at both Rigorous and Five 2 One Literary Magazine. In a past life, they were a cook for about a dozen years. In this modern incarnation, they get paid to put boxes on shelves by night and by day they read comics, pine, worry, and attempt to craft something worth reading. 


May 31, 2017

In this interview, I get to talk IN-PERSON with Julian Shendelman about his new chapbook, Dead Dad Club (Nomadic Press, 2017). 

Julian Shendelman has a weird looking dog (part fawn, part fruit bat) and a nice Jewish boyfriend. After 10 years of living in Oakland, where he was an organizer for the Bay Area Trans Writers Workshop, Julian is relocating to Philadelphia with hopes of having more time to write. He was a 2016 Pushcart nominated poet for his piece in Bat City Review, and won a Literary Death Match with a true story about queer punk cannibalism. His first published chapbook, “Dead Dad Club,” was released by Nomadic Press in March of this year.


Poets and groups mentioned in this episode:

Cam Awkward-Rich (check out the interview I did with Cam here)

Zach Ozma

Thel Seraphim

Bay Area Trans Writers Workshop (if you're in the area, not-cisgender and not a jerk, please come!)

"Welcome to the Dead Dads Club" scene in Gray's Anatomy

Seahorse by Natasha Dennerstein

Quiéreme by Juliana Delgado Lopera 

Timeless Infinite Light (sign up for a subscription!)

Apr 11, 2017

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Ching-In about their recent publication, recombinant. We got to talk about archive, language, history, and gender. 

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press; AK Press) and Here is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press)A Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. Their work has appeared in The Best American Experimental WritingThe &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and PoeticsThey are a senior editor of The Conversant and poetry editor of the Texas Review. They serve on the Executive Board of Thinking Its Presence: Race, Advocacy, Solidarity in the Arts as the Director of Membership and Social Media.

Have a listen, spread the word!

Artists and works mentioned in this episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking this week is from Jon Jang and the Pan-Asian Arkestra's "Night in Tunisia," just in case you're curious. 
This episode was edited by Mitchel Davidovitz, whose sound project you can find here on bandcamp


Feb 28, 2017

While I was on the East Coast to attend/table AWP, Tyler Vile and I got the chance to meet up with each other in D.C.'s Green Lantern bar to talk poetry and punk. The photo for this month's episode was taken just after our interview.  

Tyler Vile is a writer, performer, and activist from Baltimore, MD whose novel-in-verse, Never Coming Home, is available on Topside Press. She is a member of the Baltimore Transgender Alliance leadership team and the vocalist in a punk band called Anti-Androgen. Her interactive poetry zine, Hassidic Witch Murderer is available on her website. She aspires to one day become the world’s greatest transsexual yenta.

Artists/Bands Mentioned in the show:

Jan 17, 2017

It was such a gift to speak with emerging-talent Aristilde Kirby for this month's episode! Aristilde Kirby is a twenty-five year old lesbian trans-woman poet and songsmith originally from Bronx, NY, but now resides from Carrollton, GA. She is a UGA Master Gardener. She is working on a chapbook entitled [bitácora total bust] and an EP entitled [LA POESÍA DEL CANTE JONDO], which will be out sometime in future recent history, hopefully. 

Authors, artists, and books mentioned in this episode:

The Sound of Waves Breaking is Aris's poetic soundscape "Opaline Y Hyalite" which you can find here at her bandcamp
Editing was done by Mitchel Davidovitz
Dec 12, 2016

This month’s interview is with none other than Jayy Dodd! In this episode we talk about their work in other genres of art and critique, compensation for labor, and their newest chapbook, [sugar in the tank].


[sugar in the tank] can be found here

Jayy Dodd’s website

“All my exes look like mass murderers”

Jayy as an editor

Jayy as a graphic designer

Jayy as Social Media manager

Donate to Jayy for their work here and here

Georgina Arroyo’s website

The Shade Journal, issue 1

Langston Hughes’ “I, Too”

“Hyel’s Zumbi”

Tafisha A. Edwards

Morgan Parker

Danez Smith

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Luther Hughes

The Sound of Waves Breaking is Lucille Clifton reading her work “blessing the boats,” a poem I return to often in this post-election climate.

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