Welcome Dominique Christina and her Latest Publication “They Are All Me”

Dominique Christina

DC Bio PicDominique Christina is a mother, an educator and an agitator born and raised in Denver, Colorado 40 years ago. She holds two Masters degrees in English Literature and Education respectively. A licensed educator, Dominique taught in the Denver and Aurora Public school systems in Colorado for ten years, directed college prep programs and taught in an adjunct capacity at Community College of Aurora and Metropolitan State University of Denver. She believes that words make worlds. In the slam world (competitive poetry) Dominique began in 2011. That same year she won the National Poetry Slam Championship. In 2012 she won the Women of the World Slam Championship. She won it again in 2014. She’s the only person to win that honor twice.

She is a Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute fellow. Her work has appeared on TV One’s season 3 Verses and Flow show. She has performed with Cornel West and was an invited guest to Washington DC to read her poem “Emmett Till” for the Till family and the parents of Trayvon Martin, a young man who was killed in Sanford, Florida. Her first book of poetry, The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm, was published by Penmanship Books 2014. Her second book, a collection of poetry, essays, and writing prompts, is set for publication in October 2015 by Sounds True Publishing. Her work also appears in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and magazines and has been featured in Huffington Post and Upworthy several times.

Dominique’s family was critical in the civil rights movement. Her aunt Carlotta Walls-Lanier was one of nine students to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. Her grandfather was a shortstop, Hall of Fame baseball player for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues before baseball was integrated. When he left, Jackie Robinson, who would later go on to integrate baseball, took his place. Dominique’s mother, Professor Jackie Benton, is named for Jackie Robinson. She is mother to four wildly expressive children who never use inside voices…ever. But they are the raw material of possible and give her plenty of reasons to praise.

Manuel González

Manuel González

Mannie PicManuel González is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “My Word is My Power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets.

Manuel teaches workshops on self-expression and poetry in high schools and youth detention centers. He also works with an art therapist to help incarcerated young men express them-selves. He was also one of the coaches and mentors for the Santa Fe High Poetry Slam team from 2006-2010. Manuel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His mother’s family is from Barelas. His father’s family is from a small town in Northern New Mexico called Anton Chico, and his father was the lead singer of the band Manny and the Casanovas. He identifies himself as being Chicano. The history, culture, and spirituality of his people are among his inspirations.

BurqueHis connection to his culture helps him connect to his students. Manuel teaches poetry as a means for self-expression. Looking within oneself and examining ones roots is the essence of the type of poetry he works with emotions, feelings, experiences, and prose in an historical and cultural context is the goal of his workshops. Self esteem, finding something to say, figuring out how to say it eloquently, and letting your voice be heard are just some of the benchmarks in Manuel’s workshop. Manuel resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and children.

For information on booking a workshop and/or performance, please send inquiries to: xicanopoet@yahoo.com.

Manuel’s publication: …but my friends call me Burque, is now available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

“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.”

Now Available: Catching Calliope Spring 2014

cc coverSwimming with Elephants Publications is proud to announce the release of the spring edition of Catching Calliope.

Catching Calliope is a quarterly publication benefiting the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community. All proceeds from sales will go to supporting the community and the youth program. Buy your copy today to show your support for poetry and the youth. You do support poetry and the youth, don’t you?

Find your copy at Amazon or CreateSpace.

This is the second edition of this quarterly publication. All Catching Calliope publications will be benefiting the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community (a non-profit collective focusing on bringing poetry and freedom of expression to Rio Rancho, NM and surrounding areas).

Submit to the Summer 2014 edition of Catching Calliope May 15-June 15th. More information to come.

Catching Calliope Spring 2014

featuring:

Victoria Alexander

Melissa Baca

Gigi Bella

Emily Bjustrom

John S Blake

Alicia Borillo

SethWilson I Gray

Katrina K Guarascio

Mercedez Holtry

Gina Falcone

Damien Flores

Zachary Kluckman

Jessica Helen Lopez

Jesus Lucero

Ryan Magee

Gina Marselle

Jasmine McSparren

Susana Rinderle

Vogue Robinson

Bianca Sanchez

Danielle Smith

Sarah Smithson

Jon Sturgess

Felicia Vigil

Brooke Von Blomberg

Amy Waltner

Kirstina Ward

Charles Sanzone-Wood

Now Available: Loved Always Tomorrow

Pic pick 1

Now available on Amazon.com and Createspace, Emily Bjustrom’s Loved Always Tomorrow.

About the collection:

Emily Bjustrom’s work applies truth like healing; the uncovered wound, the blood, the sting, the cool breath, the forehead kisses.
 
The most explicit topics are slid under our vulnerable doors with internal rhymes, consonance, and diction that soothes us into unlocking every lock. We let her in, not because we’re afraid she’ll break down our doors, but because we have to see the face tethered to a voice we know we could never live without.
 
Her sound is the sweet violin amidst burning buildings, the piano in the desert. Loved Always Tomorrow is our moment to smile a tear off our itching cheeks before returning to the rubble.
 
John S. Blake – Author of Beautifully Flawed, Pushcart Prize nominee, Teaching Artist
 
Pick up this latest collection from Swimming with Elephants Publications today!

A Review of “Verbrennen”

VerMatthew Brown’s Poetry Book, “Verbrennen” is Angry
a review by Mikel K

The poems in Matthew Brown’s book, “Verbrennen,” which is published by Swimming With Elephant Publications, are direct and have a lot of purpose. They are also angry poems, which given the subject matter of the poems is understandable if you have a heart and a soul. The bio on the back cover of his book states that Matthew’s poems “expose social, racial, and economic inequalities,” and that is exactly what they do, except for the first poem in the book, “Jose,” which starts off being about his grizzly grandfather and then twists into being about the narrator himself and his bad temper, which seems to have been passed down to him from his grandfather. “Jose,” is an intense poem; the twist in its direction adds to the energy of the poem.

The second poem, “Choice,” is about abortion, or more aptly about the two sides taken on the issue of abortion. The poem is addressed to a woman named Tara who we learn in the poem’s introduction is “a campaigner against reproductive rights.”

“It doesn’t matter who won
over the ban on abortion
because you and I won’t stop fighting for what we believe in,”
is how the poem starts.
It ends with,

“The difference is that my mother knows mercy, loss,
and acceptance
Something that you and your church
know nothing about.”
Matt

In this poem, as in all the poems in his book, Matthew has a clear voice. You know where he stands on things. He doesn’t mince words, or beat around the bush.

The third poem in the book, “Feast,” is a searing indictment of the white man’s treatment of the Indians in this great nation of ours. Key lines from the poem are,

“Our relatives will flee from their minivans
like the pilgrims fled from the Mayflower,”
and

“And in the true American tradition
They will take advantage of
other people’s hospitality,”
and

“Use the water from the Trail of tearsto fill our crockpots.”
By now, we all know that the Indians got screwed by the white man, but Matthew is more eloquent than most of us could be in his description of the cruelty and self-justification that the white man exhibited in “founding” the “new” land.

“Enola,” is a poem that deals with the Americans bombing of Hiroshima. It would seem that the death and suffering of such a large, large number of people is ignored by most of us, but Matthew is on target in his observations of the occurrence in this poem.

“It’s interesting that when minorities are poor
we call it a statistic
But when whites can’t afford to pay their mortgage,
we call it a recession,”

are key lines from the poem, “Recession,” which speaks of the discrepancies and unfairness that exist between rich folks and poor people using the recent recession to highlight these differences.

“Cake,” “Valor,” and “Blood Diamond,” are angry outbursts at Paula Dean, American usage of drones, and the diamond industry. Each is a fine poem, thought provoking, and original.

VerbrennenThis book would not be enjoyed by a conservative Republican is my guess. It does not portray the Amerika that was taught to us in school. It tells the truth.

Verbrennen is currently available through Amazon and CreateSpace for $10.95. Check it out today.

Also, check out Verbrennen and other fine poetry books at:

https://swimmingwithelephants.wordpress.com/

Mikel K

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mikelkpoet

https://www.facebook.com/mikel.poet

Now Available: my verse, by Katrina K Guarascio & Shawna Cory

CoverA new collection of poetry and photography by Shawna Cory and Katrina K Guarascio, entitled my verse, has been released from Swimming with Elephants Publications.

Find this new collection on Amazon or CreateSpace

Learn more about this unique collaboration of art and verse by reading an except from the foreword, penned by Swimming with Elephants Publication author Jessica Helen Lopez.

An except from the forward:

When one woman creates we know this as spell casting.  When one or more of these female titans get together with the intent to produce art we call this act of goddess: splitting cells.  Lord help us all if they begin to shed clothes, vulnerabilities, secrets, traumas, and metaphors that bounce like agitated atoms.  This is the naked truth shook loose from words and physical form. This is poet Katrina K Guarascio and photographer Shawna Cory when they decided to comingle and author a book. 

my verse smallNow they say two women together cannot produce life, that zygote cannot be created without the gamete being fertilized by the sperm. They say fertilization is impossible without the ovum and the spermatozoa.  However, I dare any reader to peruse these pages and not feel that a milagro has taken place.  The whole world quaked when Katrina coupled with the indubitable photographer Shawna to birth the photopoetic collection that is, my verse.  Okay, maybe not the whole world, but I swear to you I felt tremors beneath my feet the first time I opened up the first drafts of the document on my laptop. The book itself is a more than adequate balance between written imagery and the image. The poems take the reader on a sojourn into the topography of modern womanhood and the photos serve to fill in the flesh of the land.  This is important work and it should be seen by all.  I have high hopes that it will.