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.
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 raquelsalasrivera.com.
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 raquelsalasrivera.com.
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 freesound.org
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.
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:
Bay Area Trans Writers Workshop (if you're in the area, not-cisgender and not a jerk, please come!)
Seahorse by Natasha Dennerstein
Quiéreme by Juliana Delgado Lopera
Timeless Infinite Light (sign up for a subscription!)
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 Writing, The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. They 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. www.chinginchen.com
Have a listen, spread the word!
Artists and works mentioned in this episode:
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:
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: