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.

Featured SwEP Author: Jessica Helen Lopez

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Jessica Helen Lopez.

Jessica Helen Lopez’s chapbook, cunt.bomb., was the first book published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in December of 2013. Her follow up collection, The Language of Bleeding, was published with SwEP in preparation for her travels to Nicaragua.

Listen to Jessica Helen Lopez perform at Ted X ABQ:

Jessica Helen Lopez’s chapbook, cunt.bomb. and The Language of Bleeding, 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.

 

 

Jessica Helen Lopez

JessicaRecently named one of 30 Poets in their 30’s to watch by MUZZLE magazine, Jessica Helen Lopez is a nationally recognized award-winning slam poet, and holds the title of 2012 and 2014 Women of the World (WOW) City of ABQ Champion.

She’s also a member of the Macondo Foundation. Founded by Sandra Cisneros, it is an association of socially engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community.

Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011) made the Southwest Book of the Year reading list and was also awarded the Zia Book Award presented by NM Women Press.

She is the founder of La Palabra – The Word is a Woman collective created for and by women and gender-identified women. Lopez is a Ted Talk speaker alum.

You may find some of Lopez’s work at these sites –LaPalabra.abqnorthwest.com, thebakerypoetry.com, and asusjournal.org.

Her work has been anthologized in A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Slam Scene (UNM Press), Earth Ships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection (NM Book Award Finalist), Tandem Lit Slam (San Francisco), Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, SLAB Literary Magazine and the upcoming Courage Anthology: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (Write Bloody Press).

Featured SwEP Author: Kristian Ashley Macaron

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Kristian Ashley Macaron.

Kristian Ashley Macaron’s chapbook, Stormwas published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in June 2015.

 

Kristian Macaron’s first chapbook of poetry features her various experiences in New England during the midst of some of the most powerful storms to pass through in the last several years. Her poetry is raw, honest, and revealing. This is a wonderful for collection for anyone who has experience the confusing effects of natural disaster as well as those who may have never had such an experience.

Kristian Ashley Macaron’s chapbook, Storm, 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.

Kristian Ashley Macaron

KristianOriginally from Albuquerque, NM where she attended the University of New Mexico, Kristian received her MFA from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and thus melded her love for the colorful Southwest with the stunning New England coast.

Kristian’s first poetry chapbook, Storm (amazon), was released in July 2015 from Swimming With Elephants Publications in Albuquerque, NM. Her other publications of fiction and poetry are published in The Winter Tangerine Review, Philadelphia Stories, Duke City Fix: The Sunday Poem, Lightning Cake Journal, The Bellows American Review (The [BAR]), Ginosko Literary Journal, Elbow Room New Mexico, Watermelon Isotope, and Medusa’s Laugh Press.

She has taught scriptwriting at the Emerson College Pre-College Creative Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches English at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Branch. View Kristian’s work at Kristianmacaron.com

Available Now: I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth by Mercedez Holtry

Book ended artfully by two poems (“Dear Donald Trump” and “For Latinos Who Voted for Trump”) that bring much needed attention to the political climate and how the Trump presidency affects her and her people, Mercedez Holtry’s newest publication from Swimming with Elephants Publications is everything you could imagine from the renowned poeta. It, as the title proclaims, is a resistance of performance, blooming like sunflowers stretching to an Albuquerque sunset sky.

Mercedez goes further in speaking not only about the national political climate but also local change and gentrification of her beloved hometown — Albuquerque, New Mexico — in poems like “La Central gets a Makeover” in which she calls out by name former Mayor Berry and the many failings of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) and its continued construction. Woven with a deep woe for being the final generation that might cruise Central Avenue, she takes you on a journey of the Albuquerque she knows and loves.

But there is a softness to this resistance, too. In “You Bring Out the Burqueña in Me,” dedicated to her beloved, she journeys through all the makings of herself and her culture, her love and her home, painting an image that echoes the vulnerability in the poem prior, “The Heat of Summer.” Both veer away from the political undertone of this publication and yet, there is still a softly flowering rebellion in her words. A rebellion of self, of love, of light.

But as with nature, there is darkness behind the light. A persona poem, entitled “La Llorona Speaks,” takes the reader on a shadowed journey into muddy waters of loss, exploring the legend of La Llorona, or The Wailing Woman. Another stunning exploration of her own culture, this particular poem was a hauntingly beautiful read.

As ever, Mercedez does not fail to enlighten and educate with her second collection from Swimming with Elephants, bringing an artfully entwined variety of work.

You can purchase I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth on Amazon, along with her first publication, My Blood is Beautiful. And don’t forget to like Mercedez’s artist page on Facebook, and keep a lookout as she heads out for the Blooming Resistance Tour this May (and for inquiries about booking her for a feature, please contact our partners at sugarbookingentertainment@gmail.com).

my verse, book review by Bill Nevins

Book Review by Bill Nevins

my verse,

a collection of poetry and photography
poetry by Katrina K Guarascio
photography by Shawna Cory


Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014
69 pages, paperback
swimmingwithelephants.com

This book cures mental fascism.

Katrina Guarascio, the beloved Ms. G of Rio Rancho Public Schools’ Cleveland High School was let go by that notorious school administration and she made local and now national headlines. The reason: Guarascio encouraged her students to write creatively and freely. After all, she was hired to teach Creative Writing. But the school district decided that when one of the students updated the Biblical tale of The Loaves and Fishes, that was just too much for their Common Core Standardized Testing curriculum to bear.

my-verse-cover
So, the RRPS administration in their wisdom demanded that Guarascio either apologize on behalf of her students and promise never to encourage them to be creative again . . . or leave their employ.

Gurascio split. What else could any self respecting teacher who cares for the free minds of her students do?

She refused to bow to the fascist demand that there are some thoughts which cannot be expressed even in writing class. There are some thoughts which cannot even be thought.

The thought, as expressed by her student, that Jesus might actually have tried to help the poor, seems to have been one of those thoughts banned by the troglodytes of the the Rio Rancho Public Schools Administration.

No, Guarascio preferred to breathe the free air of America and to leave the stifling, choking atmosphere of this Christian Taliban school administation. And she encouraged her students, her charges, to fly free too.

They have been flying free. They have flown on Facebook, on television, in print, and beyond, praising their teacher and castigating the mind-numbing thugs who pretend to be school administrators in the school district that Intel Corp built and bought.

Read this book. It is the free, sexy, mind-liberating voice of Katrina K Guarascio, perhaps New Mexico’s finest mind and sharpest poet. Turn to page 23 (“I am not one/to sit and wait/for tides to change”) and see what I mean.

Word Up. Don’t Shoot. Let Us, and Our Children Breathe.

–Bill Nevins

Find my verse, on Amazon.com, Bookworks Albuquerque, or local Swimming with Elephants Events.

Bill Nevins

Bill Nevins

 

Bill Nevins grew up Irish Catholic near and in New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. He moved to northern New England and raised his three children, one of whom, Special Forces SFC Liam Nevins, died in combat in Afghanistan in 2013. Bill has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1996.

His poetry has been published in Malpaís Review, Green Left Weekly, The Rag, Central Avenue, Sage Trail, Adobe Walls, Más Tequila Review, Special Forces Charitable Trust online, Maple Leaf Rag II, The Heartbreak ridgeCornelian, KUMISS, and other publications. His journalism is found in The Guardian, Forward Motion, Z Magazine, RootsWorld, Hyper Active, Trend of Santa Fe, EcoSource, LOGOS, Thirsty Ear, ABQ ARTS, Local iQ, TM Transmission, The Celtic Connection, Irish American News, An Scathan/Celtic Mirror and other journals.

Bill Nevins hosts second-Wednesday monthly poetry readings at The Range Cafe in Bernalillo, New Mexico. He can be contacted at bill_nevins@yahoo.com and at Bill Nevins on Facebook.

Bill Nevins’ collection of poetry, Heartbreak Ridge, is now available from Swimming with Elephants Publications.

 

author photo credit: Mark Fischer