I am sure I do not need to say that today has found us in very strange times.
Because of social distancing, shut downs, and quarantine, small businesses and performers are being hit in a big way. We at SwEP want to take a moment to encourage everyone to keep poetry circulating by purchasing books directly from Independent Bookstores and Individual Poets.
Several of our poets have begun virtual Open Mics or virtual Poetry Slams, where work can still be shared. SaraEve Fermin has begun a group called: I need you so much closer: a virtual bi-monthly artist talkspace. Kai Coggin has taken her Wednesday Night Poetry to the web and is hosting her show on April 1st (WNP Virtual Open Mic, Poetry Through the Pandemic). Zachary Kluckman and his Mindwell Poetry Team are also hosting a weekly Open Mic with a featured poet: The Poet Speaks: Open Mic & Featured Poet.
These are just a few of the many, many virtual shows which have popped up. A quick search of Facebook or Instagram should reveal several more events all over the world which you can participate in. (If you have a show, leave a link to it in the comments on this page to be shared).
Please support these poets and organizers by virtually attending or participating in their shows, purchasing their wares directly from them, and/or sharing the information with interested parties . Also, be willing to tip or donate a little extra to their cause.
Bookworks, our official affiliate out of Albuquerque, may have it’s doors closed, but it is still open for online orders and still has many SwEP titles on their shelves. You may also consider supporting them by purchasing a gift certificate or purchasing a book for as a gift. There are plenty of people in their homes who would love a surprise book delivered to their door.
As far as the current situation has affected Swimming with Elephants Publications, it should be noted that all of our upcoming publications and much of our advertising is currently on hold while we are out of the office. We do have five publications scheduled for release this year (an anthology out of Denver, our three chapbook winners, and our yearly anthology). We also have several new releases which we have yet to be announce due to the cancellation of their release events. We apologize for these delays and encourage our authors to continue to share their work and promote their publications in anyway that suits them at the moment, and, as always, let us know how we can help.
We have faith that once our offices reopen we will be able to tackle these projects with little delay.
Although we have no idea what the future holds for our small press, we have our fingers crossed that we will survive this difficult time and come out on the other side better than before. You can continue to support us by supporting our poets and supporting independent bookstores.
Thank you for your time.
Katrina Crespin & Maxine Peseke