Coming Soon From Swimming with Elephants Publications

Coming March 2019

Provocateur

Poetry by Jessica Helen Lopez

Cover Art by Ben Harrison

“Jessica Helen Lopez’ Provocateur is a revolution of words bringing to life important issues that otherwise may stay hidden inside conservative minds. Lopez is courageous in her written work. She pushes and pushes to make one feel uncomfortable enough to become informed. Her words and life are charismatic and entice one to feel. She is not threatened and is a powerful voice for the 21st century. She is gifted and energy wrapped up in fire and poetry. She does not censor—she gives us honesty and sometimes controversy, regardless of the path she is on she gives her readers life because after reading her words one feels all the feels—agree or disagree with her,  you will feel, you will feel this fire that she lives and breathes each and every day. She unites women of all walks of life, choice, and color into some kind of wonderful mother, sister, daughter, witchy, powerful self—in fact, we all have many names “ancient, mighty names” and in Lopez’ Provocateur, she gives us power to sing with her loud and clear.”

Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed.
Teacher | Poet | Photographer
Author of A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography (SwEP, 2015)
Co-guest Judge, Swimming with Elephants Publications’ Poetry Chapbook Competition, 2018

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Featured

SwEP Soiree: The Poetry Event of the Year!

Join Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC for the poetry event of the year!

This December recognizes five years of publishing and we have a lot to celebrate:

We have a new anthology, Parade, featuring new poetry from Jessica Helen Lopez, Kevin Barger, SaraEve Fermin, Wil Gibson, Courtney Butler, Matthew Brown, Kat Heatherington, and many more.

We have a new logo created by the amazing Krystal Wood-Kofonow which we have plastered all over stickers, t-shirts, bags, and more.

We have SwEP Swag donated by one of our most dedicated patrons.

We will be releasing our new commercial created by Gina Falcone.

We will be viewing a photo slideshow constructed by Gina Marselle.

Join us for the festivities on December 15th at Tortuga Gallery from 6-9.

We will incorporate music and poetry throughout the night beginning at 6pm and going till 9pm, with a toast at 7:30pm.

Poetry Performers include:

Bassam, Emily Bjustrom, Courtney Butler, Kat Heatherington, Zachary Kluckman, Manuel Gonzalez, Sarita Gonzalez, Jessica Helen Lopez, Kristian Macaron, Manuel Montoya, Mary Oishi, More TBA

Musical Guest:

Kai Ocean

Merchandising! Merchandising! Merchandising!

Although we are after a fun and radical celebration, we have another goal of raising money for future ISBNs. All proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing new ISBNs for our future publications. There will be special pricing on books and merchandise, and an anonymous donation jar to help us reach this goals. An size donation will get you in the door, but a minimum 5$ donation will get you a SwEP Swag bag.

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).

SwEP Swag bags (value $25-$30) will include a variety of Swimming with Elephants Publications merchandise and books. Get a SwEP Swag bag with a minimum $5 donation. We have a limited number of SwEP Swag bags, so get there early to get your hands on one.

We will also have a limited number of other merchandise for sale. Get there early to get dips. If we run out of what you are looking for, you can prepay for an order to be delivered to your home.

Gift wrapping available (as long as your tip our wrapper).

Please note: The Swimming with Elephants Flamethrower is not available at this time.

Food and Drink

This is a pot luck, bring your own beverage event.

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

Stop by to for a toast, wish us luck for the next five years, and sign our memory book.

After party destination to be determined.

The Book You Need to Have

Language of CrossingWhen the manuscript of Language of Crossing first crossed my desk, I immediately knew it was an important work which profoundly reflected upon some of the most disturbing issues concerning immigration in America. In light of recent events, the building of “the wall” and American relations with Mexico, it is even more important than ever.

Through poetry, Liza Wolff-Francis tells the stories, demonstrates the horrors, and gives a human face to those people who are so greatly affected by the immigration. The struggle continues. This is not a reflection of what is past, but a collection of what continues. If you want to truly understand the strife of the undocumented, start here.

Order the Language of Crossing from Amazon for only $10.95 by clicking here.

About the Publication:

Liza Wolff-Francis’s Language of Crossing is a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. She writes of a reality that must be ignored no longer. It is the struggle, strife, and violence that is endured by those who flee their country in hopes of a better life. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability. Language of Crossing is a political outcry, a finely tuned collection of endurance of a people, and a passionate advocacy for all to take notice. Wolff-Francis is a real activist planting poetic prayer flags across the vastness of a desert.

Reviews from Amazon.com:

By Francois Pointeau

“In Brownsville there’s a hundred
stash houses where they keep the immigrants
once they’ve crossed over in north heaven.
The coyotes take their shoes from them,
take their clothes so they don’t run, keep them
behind locks. Quiet. Callados.
En silencio, until the next trek
on into the land of the free.

(from the poem “In Brownsville there’s a stash house where they keep the immigrants”)

The poems in Language of Crossing by Liza Wolff-Francis will break your heart. Is this the America we live in? Yes it is. Is this the way we treat the poor and the needy? Yes it is.

Whatever happened to: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” –The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

These words have become the Myth of America. Wolff-Francis brings the tragedy, the reality of the true faces of the immigrants to life, not the myth…she paints us a picture of what is going on right now on our southern borders. She gives individuals crossing our borders a human face, a human heart, and a human longing for a better land, a better place, a simple place where you can raise your family without the fear of death at every corner. And for many of these immigrants, what they find is everything but. Wolff-Francis doesn’t pull any punches. What she writes about, we can not ignore, we can no longer turn a blind eye to. This is an important collection of poems, and you need to read it.

By hanginwithlewis

I’m so glad I was able to get a copy of Language of Crossing. As I’ve been listening to NPR and hearing about humanitarian crises in Africa and the Middle East, I’ve kept wondering at how strong our national political policies must be, that we turn a blind eye to what’s happening at our threshold. Before the book launch reading at La Resistencia Bookstore in Austin, I knew there were people crossing the border, and many if not most of those journeys did not have a happy ending. But I hadn’t realized there was a humanitarian crisis in progress, so I feel that I’ve at least had my eyes opened in a way that allows me to look at what’s going on more critically and realistically. Not that I’ve saved any lives yet, per sé, but I’m glad to be able to read about your perspective, rather than only hear the President’s. And the found poem that opens the collection, “Border Trauma,” is still haunting me months later.

LizaHeadShotAbout the Author:

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Edge, Twenty, unseenfiction.com, Border Senses, and on various blogs. As a social worker, she has worked with Spanish speaking immigrant populations for twenty years. She wrote the play “Border Rising” from interviews with undocumented Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Albuquerque, NM.