Featured SwEP Author: Liza Wolff Francis

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Liza Wolff Francis.

Liza Wolff Francis’s chapbook, Language of Crossing, was published in the fall of 2015 by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

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.

 

Liza Wolff Francis’s chapbook, Language of Crossing, 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.

 

Liza Wolff-Francis

Liza Wolff-FraLizaHeadShotncis 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.

 

Advertisements

Swimming with Elephants Publications Returns to Bookworks ABQ

Celebrate Poetry Month with Swimming with Elephants Publications and Bookworks this April!

During the month of April 2018, you will once again be able to find Swimming with Elephants Publications titles on the shelves of Bookworks, known as one of Albuquerque’s best local, independent bookstore.

Available titles range from our newest releases to our classics, but our supplies are limited so get there early and don’t pass up a purchase because it may not be there on your next visit.

All SwEP titles available in the store will be specially priced for $10, except of a small group which will be priced at $5 a book, while supplies last.

We will celebrate Poetry Month with Bookworks at our reading on April 21, 2018, from 3pm-5pm.

 

Check out our titles at Bookworks ABQ including these New Releases

 

from below/denied the light
Poetry by Paulie Lipman

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).

Nail Gun and a Love Letter
Poetry by Beau Williams

“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 everyone is a love letter to the dance that makes us who we are.”

– Sherry Frost, Educator

I Bloomed a Resistance From My Mouth
Poetry by Mercedez Holtry

“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

Wild Horses
Poetry by Courtney Butler

“Courtney A. Butler has written a book that manages to be strong and fierce while remaining innocent and full of wonder. Balancing the line between jaded adult and hopeful youth while painting the clearest picture of why the writing evokes that same sentiment- this is a fun, emotionally fulfilling collection that I will enjoy the 37th time as much as the 1st. I’ll be pre-ordering her next book, as there will surely be many more.”

-Wil Gibson, Author of Quitting Smoking, Falling In and Out of Love, and Other Thoughts About Death

The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy
Poetry by MJR Montoya

“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

the bones of this land
poetry by Kat Heatherington

“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, cunt. bomb., Language of Bleeding and a recipient of the Zia Book Award

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).

Welcome New Author

KristianKristian Ashley Macaron writes about pirates, whales, wolves, folktales, deserts, volcanoes, hurricanes, planets, and her life, of course, in which adventure is constant. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she received her MFA from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and thus melded her love for the colorful Southwest with the stunning New England coast.

Her fiction has appeared in The Winter Tangerine Review volume 3 and Lightning Cake Journal. She is a staff writer for online journal The Bellows American Review. Her poetry has been published online in Philadelphia Stories and was performed on stage at the University of New Mexico in the 2008 production of “Full Frontal Poetry.”

She has taught scriptwriting at the Emerson College Pre-College Creative Writers’ Workshop, and is currently part-time English faculty at the University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus.

Macaron’s chapbook, Storm, is now available via our on line distributors. Upcoming releases and events will be posted.

Now Available: …but my friends call me Burque

Burque…but my friends call my Burque
Poetry by Manuel Gonzalez
Available at Amazon and Createspace for $10.95.
Available at SwEP events at discount pricing.

About the collection:

The first complete collection from beloved New Mexico poet Manuel Gonzalez contains many of his most popular performance pieces along with poems he has used and shared in classrooms throughout the state.

Manuel states:  “I’m proud to be from New Mexico, and to me it’s more than just green chile and desert. It’s seeing the value of famila and respect. It’s the Rio Grande valley and Santuario de Chi-mayo. It is feasts, dance, poetry and prayer.”

This collection honors New Mexico, her traditions and her beauty.