A review of Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez’s chapbook with Swimming with Elephants Publications.
Also, musician extraordinaire Keith Sanchez will open and close the show with his awesome musica!
Special Pricing: All books are $10.95 credit/check or $10 cash.
Swimming with Elephants Publications Available for Purchase at Event:
Catching Calliope Winter 2014
Catching Calliope Spring 2014
Light as a Feather
To The Last Word 2014
Emily Bjustrom’s Loved Always Tomorrow
Matthew Brown’s Verbrennen
Katrina K Guarascio & Gina Marselle’s September
Katrina K Guarascio & Shawna Cory’s my verse,
Zachary Kluckman’s Some of it is Muscle
Jessica Helen Lopez’s Cunt.Bomb.
Sharing a review of Jessica Helen Lopez’s Chapbook. I thought this one was especially well written.
A Chapbook by Jessica Helen Lopez
Create Space Indep. Publishing
38 pages, $10.95
You were stunned — perhaps even shocked and appalled — by the title, weren’t you? That is the intention of poet provocateur Jessica Helen Lopez. She seeks to reclaim the word “cunt” from its current position as a palabra non grata, the equivalent of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series (“he-who-must-not-be-named”). Instead, feminist-activist-slam poet Lopez wants to use the word to wield female power in all its guises.
In the ten poems contained in this chapbook, Lopez explores the many roles that make up a woman, as well as the thoughts and feelings that correspond with each. She explores the dualities in a woman’s life; her persona alternates between tender and tough, sentimental and sassy, spiritual and sexual. She is a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a lover, a poet, a…
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Swimming with Elephants Publications is an independent, not for profit, publishing agent focusing on supporting the working poet and local non-profit organizations, especially those which encourage the youth. We represent a variety of poetry and anthologies.
Although not currently open to unsolicited manuscripts, we are seeking submissions for two progressing anthologies (see Call for Submissions) and are always open to queries.
We also sponsor a quarterly anthology which benifits the RIo Rancho Youth Poetry Community. This not for profit publication is open to submissions year around and is publishd in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. All proceeds from the publications will benifit the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community and be used as on ongoing fundraiser for group activities, further publications, and other adventures.
Please explore the website, order a few of our publications, and contact us at swimwithelephants(at)gmail(dot)com for more information about the fledgling agency.
Review by Mark Fischer
Cunt. Bomb., the second collection of poems by nationally recognized southwest feminist poet Jessica Helen Lopez, is a small chapbook – coming in at a thin 33 pages. The content however, is anything but. As the title may tell you, this collection of words is explosive. The nine poems are well organized and read front-to-back as a manifesto, a recipe book, a howl across mountains in the night calling all to congregate in the sacred space.
Nine facets of womanhood, from the feisty young grade school feminist to the embodiment of the Goddess Diana, this is the jewel at the center through which Lopez explores identity. Understanding the worship, celebration and exaltation of the feminine in every form appears to be the intent. The poet is embracing her sense of self and exploring her duty to teach self-love to women around the globe.
In this endeavor Lopez is quite successful. The images she conjures are strong and timely. In “Diana the Huntress,” she explores the horrifying murders of women in Mexico and the lone vigilante who fights back on long lonely bus rides as she writes, ”I fear no moon, Lady of Wild Creatures, La Cazadora worshiped by the womanly workers of Juarez.” There are no apologies here, no concessions, and that is what speaks most to the fidelity of this collection.
Jessica Helen Lopez is a member of the Macondo Foundation created by Sandra Cisneros, as well as a Chicana/o Poetics instructor at the University of New Mexico, a two-time Women of the World Poetry Slam Albuquerque City Champion and member of several city teams representing her home town at the National Poetry Slam. Her voice is singular, both sharp and sweet. Like every good storyteller you walk away from her performances both nurtured and haunted. This dichotomy comes through in this collection. One of the “30 Poets in their 30’s to Watch” according to MUZZLE magazine, Jessica Helen Lopez is well on her way to assuming her place along the front lines with the likes of fellow Chicana poets Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Demetria Martinez. As far as “little black books” go – this is the one to choose.