Swimming with Elephants Publications

an independent, not for profit, publishing agent focusing on supporting the working author and non-profit organizations


Leave a comment

Grab a Copy of Wild Horses at Bookworks This Saturday from 3pm-5pm!

Join Courtney A. Butler and several other Swimming with Elephants poets at Bookworks from 3pm to 5pm! We’re celebrating National Poetry Month and want you to join us! Meet the poets, get autographs, and support local business! Can’t wait to see you there!

nightlights- courtney butler

Advertisements


Leave a comment

MJR Montoya Will Be at Bookworks for Poetry Month on Saturday, April 21st!

The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy is a poetry book that took third place in the SwEP chapbook competition in 2017 and is simply a stellar piece of work!

MJR Montoya will be performing at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, April 21st for Poetry Month!

It’s your chance to buy a copy in person and talk to the poet!

Join us from 3-5pm.

binary star- mjr montoya


Leave a comment

Featured SwEP author: Jennifer E. Hudgens

Swimming With Elephants Publications would like to reimtroduce you to Jennifer E. Hudgens, author of Girls Who Fell in Love with War. Jennifer was born and raised in Oklahoma City. She has always danced to the beat of her own drummer, just ask her mom. Using poetry as a means of expression and survival, Jennifer lives poetry. She watches the sky the way most people watch television. Jennifer is terrified of clowns, horses, and animatronic toys. That damned Snuggle bear is secretly trying to steal souls.

Girls Who Fell in Love with War is Jennifer’s first full collection of poems. She has plans to release a couple poetry chapbooks and her first novel in 2016. Jennifer promises the novel is quite murdery. She is also working to bring more diversity and light to the amazingly talented poets in the Oklahoma Poetry Community.

Jennifer is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma with plans to teach high school students after graduation. She teaches creative writing classes for the Oklahoma City Arts Council and is a pretty rad substitute teacher.

Jen genuinely hopes you like her poems. If you don’t, that’s okay too.

Recently, she released a collection, Paloma, with Blood Pudding Press. So it goes…

You were the only one who believed me when I said what he did hurt

You were the only one who knew I was burying myself in too much fat and flux

Paloma kickstarts with 1996, a punk rock war-cry of nostalgia and a final lingering note of sadness. This, like many others in the collection, is a poem that resounds with everything oh-so-90s; but make no mistake, this is meant in the best possible way. A mixed tape soundtrack that plays like growing up, it sets the tone to whom this collection is dedicated– as much funeral dirge as it is love song for a sister and friend. The final line of the first poem rings melancholic: “Who’s gonna take care of us strays now?”

It is this echoing theme of finality, of trying to grasp the concept of loss, that carries on through the entire collection, questions of mortality and suffering scattered like the ashes of the departed, asking the question specifically in Lauren Kate is Dead: “Where the hell is this better place people are always talking about” and present in lines like:

How is it life if we aren’t suffering
Pain keeps us still {here} latched to gravity

With each poem thereafter comes a chapter of both closure and reawakening old memories; Paloma is remarkably bittersweet in the tug-of-war of saying goodbye to somebody who can no longer hear you, and Hudgens’ voice is so clear and combative against adhering to traditional standards. If nothing else, it is clear that Hudgens proves to be anything but a traditional poet; she rocks the reader’s thoughts, with gruesome details suggesting unkempt murder, encouraging one to further unravel the mayhem behind a sudden loss. Nonetheless, this proves to be a beautiful read, a true work of dedication and memory even with scattered wishes to be unseen, like that found in Bizarre Love Triangle:

You always saw me
Now
I’m trying not to be seen

And isn’t that so like loss, and how we process it? Loud as bombs, but in the quiet, in solitude, trying to process in peace, even if the death was anything but peaceful. But with this thought, I wonder at the intention of the book title: Paloma– a name that means peace, it is perhaps, with this offering, the dearly departed (because judging by Hudgens’ words, Lauren Kate was, indeed, so very dear) may be at peace, too.

Overall, as with all of our SwEP family, I can only offer heartfelt recommendations to reach out and read more of Jennifer Hudgens’ work. You can purchase her full-length title, Girls Who Fell in Love with War, published with Swimming with Elephants, on Amazon, and keep an eye on her wordpress for more news directly from the author.


Leave a comment

Featured SwEP author: Courtney Butler

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Courtney A. Butler.

Courtney Butler’s collection, Wild Horses, was published in late 2017 after winning third place in a SwEP’s 2017 chapbook competition.

“Courtney A. Butler has written a book that manages to be strong and fierce while remaining innocent and full of wonder. Balancing the line between jaded adult and hopeful youth while painting the clearest picture of why the writing evokes that same sentiment- this is a fun, emotionally fulfilling collection that I will enjoy the 37th time as much as the 1st. I’ll be pre-ordering her next book, as there will surely be many more.”

-Review by Wil Gibson,
Author of Quitting Smoking, Falling In and Out of Love, and Other Thoughts About Death

Order Courtney A Butler’s Wild Horses from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

 

Courtney A Butler

Courtney Alyssa Butler grew up in south Texas, which accounts for her very decisive twang when she’s been drinking just a little too much, or supremely pissed off. Her family moved to New Mexico, where she developed a strong affinity for performance poetry and theater. She attended St. Andrew’s University in North Carolina, mostly because it had ponies and green grass to play in, but ended up with a double major in English and Creative Writing nonetheless. To continue her sordid love affair with the written word, she earned her master’s in Creative and Media Writing from the University of Swansea in Wales. She moved to Chicago, Illinois and worked as an English instructor and tutor, and earned her cosmetology license, before moving back to New Mexico in 2013. Now, she works in the non-profit sector by day, while doing hair, special effects makeup, and writing at night…like Batman but with more flair. You can find her first book of poetry Season for Season at St. Andrew’s University Press, Laurinburg, NC.

If you’re interested in poetry-in-progress, or the rambles of a mad woman, you can also check out her blogs:

TheCourtRose at thecourtrose.blogspot.com

and

Un Bel Mondo at thecourtrose-abeautifulworld.blogspot.com


Leave a comment

Featured SwEP Author: Gigi Bella

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Gigi Bella.

Gigi Bella’s collection, 22, was published from Swimming with Elephants Publications in January 2017 in preparation for her move to New York City.

Listen to Gigi perform a poem from her collection here:

Pick up Gigi Bella’s collection, 22, from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.

Gigi Bella

GiGi Guajardo//{gigi bella} is an award-winning poet, musical theatre actress, and educator of the arts. She recently earned the title of Albuquerque’s Woman of the World 2017 representative. She was named a group piece champion at the 2016 National Poetry Slam and a National Semi-Finalist at the 2013 National Poetry Slam as a member of the Albuquerque Slam Team. She is a student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a Theatre minor. She loves marshmallows, sparkling purple lipstick, and Wes Anderson movies. She continues to be a hopeless romantic.

 


Leave a comment

Featured SwEP Author: Kat Heatherington

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Kat Heatherington.

Kat Heatherington’s collection, the bones of this land, was published in 2017 after winning first place in a SwEP’s 2017 chapbook competition.

“The Bones of this Land is an exquisite collection of poetry and craft at its apex. Heatherington is an expert at subtle but powerful verse. Her words read like a whisper but resonate like a bomb. Here is a book that will leave you satiated, but curiously enough, hungry for more. ”

~Jessica Helen Lopez,
author of Always Messing With Them Boys and a recipient of the Zia Book Award

Pick up Kat Heatherington’s the bones of this land from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

 

Kat Heatherington

Kat Heatherington is a queer ecofeminist poet, sometime artist, pagan, and organic gardener.    She has been living in Albuquerque since 1998, when she moved here to earn a Master’s in English at UNM.

In 2007 she collaborated with a group of three other unrelated adults to buy land in the Rio Grande Valley and form Sunflower River intentional community, sunflowerriver.org.  Ten years and many life lessons later, Sunflower River is still going strong, and still providing plenty of material to write poems about.

Kat’s work primarily addresses the interstices of human relationships and the natural world.  She has several self-published chapbooks, available from the author at yarrow@sunflowerriver.org.  Her work can be read at https://sometimesaparticle.org.