New Release: La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño: MiChicanidad Creativity as Witnessed in Bilingual Ethno-Poetry and Photography

Now Available from Swimming with Elephants Publications:

La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño:

MiChicanidad Creativity as Witnessed in Bilingual Ethno-Poetry and Photography

Narrative by Dr. S.L. Rottschafer, Ph.D.
(The University of New Mexico and Aquinas College)
Photography by Mr. Daniel Combs

“La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño” details the unique ‘MiChicanidad’ experience of life on the border in Michigan. This is another definition of Aztlán, as seen on a Northern Border, this time between Canada and Southwest Detroit’s predominantly Mexican American neighborhood. Growth of this Spanish speaking barrio began in the earlier part of the 20th Century due to the rise of migrant labor and employment at factories. Later, the area prospered as those immigrants began to choose to stay. Their addition to the interpretation of life on the border, as well as the community’s vibrant nature, is unparalleled especially as it is defined through creativity.

In addition to the scholarly research detailed above regarding La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño, this project employs an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach. In Spring 2017, Dr. Rottschafer led an excursion to Detroit’s Southwest Mexicantown with some of her students.  This time Mexicantown was framed through the lens of her Latinx Literature course which also studied the diaspora of this area.  Specifically, Rottschafer introduced her students to the murals at the Eastern Market, TAP: The Alley Project, and Garage Cultural. Students then created bilingual ethno-poetry to reflect upon their experience of this intersectionality of Mexican and Mexican-American history and Visual Story through Art.

In Spring 2018, Dr. Rottschafer continued this study in her Chicanx Literature course. Referencing Levi Romero, New Mexico’s Centennial Poet and his text Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland, students wrote poetry invoking a sense of place, a cultural fusion or clash, and their right to claim authenticity of belonging.

To culminate the project, Dr. Rottschafer returned to Detroit in June 2018 with her partner and photographer, Daniel Combs. His photographs of the Murals in the Market within the Eastern Market district, TAP: The Alley Project, and the Garage Cultural murals in Mexicantown create a Visual Story. The images accompany the scholarly research on the MiChicanidad experience, which in turn reflect the voice garnered in bilingual ethno-poetry of the MiChicana community.

Find this publication on Amazon or purchase directly from Dr. Rottschafer.

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Swimming with Elephant Soiree THIS SATURDAY!

Make your way down to Tortuga Gallery this Saturday to join us in celebrating five years of publishing under Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

An size donation will get you in the door, but a minimum 5$ donation will get you a SwEP Swag bag.

We will have a limited supply of books for sale at the event. All available books will be priced at 10$ each or three for 20$. Bring cash or credit card (a 1$ service charge will be added for credit card purchases). If you want to be sure to have a certain book signed by one of our performing poets, you are encouraged to purchase it prior to the event and bring it along.

Many of our poets will also be bringing their personal crafts to sell at the event so come get some shopping done for the holidays.

Poetry Performers include:

Bassam, Emily Bjustrom, Matthew Brown, Courtney Butler, SaraEve Fermin, Kat Heatherington, Zachary Kluckman, Manuel Gonzalez, Sarita Sol Gonzalez, Jessica Helen Lopez, Kristian Macaron, Gina Marselle, Manuel Montoya, Mary Oishi, Liza Wolff Francis

Musical Guests:

Kai Ocean

Marion Carrillo

Bring Food!

This is a pot luck, bring your own beverage event (Yes, alcoholic beverages are okay, just be responsible).

Please attempt to bring reusable plates/cups etc. View Tortuga’s Zero Waste Goals for more information. 

Coming January 2019: The Weekly Write

The Weekly Write features a new piece of poetry or short prose every Sunday from January to October during 2019. The works with the most ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ and ‘comments,’ at the end of November 2019 will be featured in the Swimming with Elephants 2019 Print Anthology due for release in December of 2019.

After the date of publication, each Weekly Writes has two weeks to earn as many ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ and ‘comments’ as possible. So if you read something you like, share it and interact with it as much as possible. Both the SwEP staff and the author will be most appreciative.

An open call for submissions for the 2020 Weekly Writes and Anthology will begin in October 2019.