New Release from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of Provocateur by Jessica Helen Lopez.

“Jessica Helen Lopez‘s poetry is viscerally vulnerable. With grace and poise she fearlessly dances with her demons returning triumphant and beautifully human.”

~Manuel González
City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus (2016-2018)

This beautiful collection, featuring cover art by Ben Harrison, contains Lopez’s most popular pieces from 2014 to the present.

“Provocateur is the way the word ‘woman’ feels in the gut– heavy and visceral, the malleable form that is holy and so often taken for granted.  These words are a weapon or a blessing, a warrior or a priestess.  Lopez navigates the landscape of femininity without shying away from it’s most ferocious instincts.  It is the reclamation I want my daughter to read on the days she does not feel good enough.  Jessica Helen Lopez reminds us how to live without sin– one of the greatest lessons we have to offer.  How to find the grace in our everyday selves.  This book is church.” 

~SaraEve Fermin, Author of Trauma Carnival

Join Jessica Helen Lopez and selected guests for the release of the publication on March 23, 2019 from 5-7pm at the Factory On 5th Gallery (1715 5 St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102).

This is a free event.

Copies of the publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Order your copy of Provocateur today from Amazon or other major book distributors.

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A list of our 2018 Publications (and links to buy)

We had a busy year!

Swimming with Elephants Publications produced several books during 2018. Review this years publications and get your hands on them before we embark on our publications for 2019.

All our books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BookWorks Albuquerque, and can be ordered by Independent Bookstores around the world.

Parade: A Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018

Get your hands on Swimming with Elephants Publications 2018 Anthology, Parade, featuring the poetry of Kevin BargerSaraEve FerminWil GibsonJessica Helen LopezMatthew BrownMaxine Peseke and so many more!

Only $7.95 and free shipping with Amazon Prime. Make great gifts and are a fine sampling of the poets Swimming with Elephants represents.

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

“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.

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Rock Paper Scissors

“…this collection carries both the beauty of human resilience and the searing pain of postatomic burning carnage. The poetry, like hope, is an obstinate and sturdy survivor, for ‘what could i do but write songs.’ These verses often push the envelope, asking questions that make more sense than our grammar. ‘are you out there in the stealth night on the edge of blue? listening/ are you loving me for sending you this fix of heartbreak/ slid down metal, taut and wound. electric. are you?’…haunting, resonant odes and the rhythmic power of promises and truth, poems spread across Hiroshima and Barcelona, Laos and Albuquerque. These poems bring the world into a familial embrace, but spit out the naked power of truth, both personal and political, as if it were a well-chewed chicken bone, gnawed raw. Through it all, this mother-daughter poetic duo reminds us that, in the beauty of human hope, ‘nothing sacred can be lost.’”

-Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate of Texas

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I Bloomed a Resistance From My Mouth

“Mercedez Holtry’s poetry speaks to the origin stories of her Chican@ and Mestiz@ people. It is a mixed bag of mixed blood and the celebratory songs of family, culture and the history of the la tierra that she has blossomed from. Her poems are resistance and resilience. She is a fierce page poet warrior who also casts her spells from the stage, as a true bruja does. Oppressors beware. Holtry mixes up curses, prayers and incantations with her poetic brew. This is a poet who uses her mas palabras for healing and retribution. Her collection de poesia es muy firme, a true reckoning of what is to come from a generation of woke poets who have much to say and aren’t afraid to say it. ”

-Jessica Helen Lopez, ABQ Poet Laureate, Emeritus and Author of the award winning book

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Pina Bausch

Originally written in french by Werner Lambersy, this short book serves as an homage to Pina Bausch, an extraordinary modern dancer. This English translation, by Jack Hirschman, serves as a continued remembrance to not only an amazing modern dancer but the poet whom she inspired.

 

 

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bliss in die/unbinging the underglow

“Bassam writes poems that feel like slow motion car crashes where, at every turn, you’re also reassured that it’s ok to feel like this, like even if nothing is going to be ok, there is strength to hold like a parking brake, like the axis of a planet. Bassam’s words are a gut punch, a pull to beating heart chest, a hand that holds yours in the bleak. One senses that the act of poetry for Bassam is truly one of survival. What a strength it takes to show our deepest insecurities, to not ask for forgiveness. To not be the hero of your own story. Bassam is a bright non binary voice. One that asks not for acceptance, but simply is, and tells the stories of body and mind that is so intimate and accessible to those of us who endlessly battle with our shapes, our selves. What a gift to give.”

—Charlie Petch, Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Musician

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BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing 

Within these pages, entitled “Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing,” Jack Hirschman and Idlir Azizaj present a translation of Jusef Gërvalla’s poetry. This is the first time this collection, originally published by the Naim Frashëri Publishing House, in Tirana, Albania in 1983, is translated in the English Language. In 1983, a year after the original publication in his native Kosovo Albanian, Jusuf Gërvalla, his brother Bardhosh, and comrade Kadri Zeka were allegedly murdered by the Serbian secret service in their exile in Germany. Gërvalla was known as a journalist and a musician as well as a poet, novelist, and founder of the Marxist-Leninist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo. For the first time, Jusuf Gërvalla’s poetry, including selections from his three books: They Fly and Fall, Green Stork, and Sacred Marks, can be shared by the english speaking population.

Unease at Rest

“Unease at Rest” is an ‘ugly butterfly’, anatomized. It is the death’s-head moth pinning itself under glass. Every poem is another marking on the insect’s back, resembling a human skull. Each one steadfastly reminds its author that it isn’t, in fact, a skull. But each feels about that heavy. In this grossly gorgeous collection, Gibson doesn’t wrestle or toss away the bones on his back. He quietly, humbly carries them. Wil doesn’t fly straight into the lantern’s yawning flame. He stares it down, he names it, and he reaches for it. He does so for us, sparing us the discomfort. And he does it with a steady and trained hand: imperfect palms stretched perfectly. The textual body of his poems, too, flex and fold this way. Every page a ‘soft, awkward, and most authentic’ wing. Wil reaches for the fire with such an ugly human grace, that it explains the ugly human light that swallows us too, by which we are lit from inside, to which we all are bound.”

– Bill Moran – author of “Oh God Get Out Get Out”

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Nail Gun and a Love Letter

This collection of poems alternately pierces the reader with astute and heartbreaking observations (Good Drums is a particularly devastating musing on white, male American-ness) while at the same time using evocative language to spar with and challenge the ideas of belonging and connection and love. These poems invite the reader to contemplate what it means to come from somewhere, and how it feels to long for a place that isn’t home, but could be. They invite us to see the mundane as essential, and to see and celebrate the things that connect us to our identity. The title of this collection is apt; like a nail gun, these poems violently pierce, but do so in service to building something sturdy and sheltering, and every one is a love letter to the dance that makes us who we are.

– Sherry Frost, Educator

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from below/denied the light

Out of Denver, Colorado, Paulie comes “from below” and rises to join our parade of writers. A two time National Poetry Slam finalist, Paulie Lipman is a loud Jewish Queer poet, performer, and writer. His work has appeared in the anthology ‘We Will Be Shelter’ (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache).

 

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The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy 

“These poems are a way of telling you what I saw, at least the remnants of those things. My poems have codes in them. They have forms that have long since lost favor. They have rhyme schemes and syllabic structures of old and new places. They have formlessness that abides by current trends, but embraces none of them wholesale. They are, as Milton once wrote, poems that attempt to champion the unnamable and the indeterminable. Mine are the equations of empty sets and irrational numbers as much as they are of ritual and nostalgia. I have decided not to appease all critique. I am at rest, because the people I trust most have said that there is something in them, something of where I am from, what became of my home, and what is becoming in the world. And for the first time in a long time I’m not ashamed of my part in this story. With all that I am, let these poems be a part of my apology to the world and to my beloveds, an apology for each moment as it passes to the next…”

~from the preface

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Student Anthologies

 

Tiempo/Oolkil – Now is the Time: Voces Summer Writing Institute Anthology 2018

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Eye of the Eagle 2018: Native American Community Academy

Get our 2018 Anthology for only $7.95

Due to a successful fundraising event during the month of December, we are able to pass on our good fortune to our amazing readers.

For the month of January 2019, you can purchase our 2018 Anthology: Parade for only $7.95 plus free shipping through Amazon Prime. Click here to order today!

Our goal as a publisher of predominately poetry collections is to get the words of our writers into the hands of our readers, and what better way than to lower the price!

We have many new publications released during 2018, including chapbooks by Paulie Lipman, Bassam, and Manual Montoya,  and full length poetry collections by Wil Gibson, Mary & Aja Oishi, and Beau Williams. But this particular anthology contains work by all of them and many more. Get a wonderful sampling of what Swimming with Elephants Publications does and the work we produce and then find more books by these authors from us or other small presses.

Swimming with Elephants Publications Chapbook Open Call 2018 Has Closed

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC has closed submissions for our Chapbook open call in 2018.

We had a great submission experience with more than double the submissions of previous years. Our judges are working diligently to read all the of the wonderful manuscripts and make their decisions.

The three manuscripts chosen for publication in 2019 will be announced in January 2019. Please stay tuned and follow along for the announcement of our chosen manuscripts and up coming publication information.

We have an excited 2019 planned for Swimming with Elephants Publications, including the creation of the Weekly Write, new releases from our Parade of Poets (including Jessica Helen Lopez and SaraEve Fermin), and the continuation of our yearly anthology, Parade. We will once again run an Open Call for Chapbook is the fall of 2019, as well as be looking for future features for our Weekly Write and artwork submission. Keep an eye on the website for upcoming Submission Calls.

Currently, we are looking for Prose Submissions for an upcoming anthology focusing on Eating Disorders. If you have a story regarding Eating Disorders, whether it is a personal telling or an observation of another or even a commentary regarding the issue, please consider submitting it for the upcoming anthology. Find more information on our Submittable Page. Chosen submission receive publication, two contributor copies of the anthology, and the ability to purchase the anthology at publisher cost for the lifetime of the publication.

We are also seeking artwork for two upcoming publications in the Spring. We do not charge a submission fee for artwork and chosen artwork will be purchase from the artist. Please see our Submittable Page for more information on what we are looking for and how to submit.

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.