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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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.

Soon to be discontinued….

Every year, Swimming with Elephants Publications reviews our bookshelves for books which will be discontinued in the new year.  This year, we will announce two books, with discontinuation dates of December 15, 2018.

If you would like to get your hands on either of these fantastic publications, order today or pick up a copy at the Swimming with Elephants Soiree.

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CuntBombCover

Cunt. Bomb.

A Chapbook by Jessica Helen Lopez
Available at Amazon for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

A little from the foreword:

These precious jewels of epiphany continue to guide me as I uncover for myself women, gender-identified women and allies who advocate for equality, who fight against the oppression and pillage against women and of course who dive whole-heartedly into the vastness and mysterious complexity of unbridled sexuality. Yes, I love the cunt. Yes, I have one. And yes, I will continue to use the word because it is not disparaging but rather has been wrangled into submission for hundreds of years; only to be used against women and girls as a tool for abuse and means of brutal capitulation. For those who recoil at the thought of the title of this humble chapbook, I invite you to sit and listen/read for a bit. The poems included are but a small journey stitched together to create my life as a mother, daughter, sister, poet, and woman of color. Woman. Cunt.

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Light as a feather coverLight as a Feather

Available at Amazon for $12.95.

Hear what is being said about Light as a Feather:

“Light as a Feather transports readers into the bleak landscape experienced by so many of us who suffer from eating disorders and depression. We are swept into an exploration of bones clinking “like wind chimes,” “blubber like chain mail,” “nights so black,”and “making friends with bullets.” These poems are raw and revealing yet communicate hope through perseverance and love.”

Lucretia E. Penny Pence
Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

Today I ate“I ate today.” This simple statement, which opens the poem Falling, is the perfect embodiment of the simple necessity and stark power of the work contained in this collection. With themes centered on eating disorders and mental health issues, many may hesitate to pick up this collection, expecting either a morose and somber compendium of struggle, or perhaps thinking there is nothing here they can relate to. They would be wrong on both counts. Light as a Feather is a potent and surprisingly gentle assemblage of voice and experience threaded together with a delicacy that almost belies the harsh, at times almost violent, brutality of body image, external perspectives and self doubt that go hand in hand with the issues being discussed. The authors included herein have strewn themselves in vulnerable and fearless positions throughout these pages to speak truth, empathy and encouragement to anyone reading and frankly the result is an impressive, urgent and altogether timely message. Sometimes the simple act of feeding yourself makes you a lighthouse. There are shipwrecks within these pages, and for every one of them, there is a survivor hugging the coastline of their own body, holding a lifeline and refusing the sea’s invitation to determine their shape.

Zachary Kluckman
Author of Some of it is Muscle and Animals in Our Flesh

The writers in this collection range from poets who have published more than one book, to high school students just embarking on their writing careers, but they all write about these difficult subjects–depression, eating disorders–with passion and honesty. This book, which showcases human experience carefully crafted into poems, ends up being more uplifting than bleak, and reminds us that “everybody wears beauty exquisitely.” An important collection!

Lisa Chavez
Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico

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).

REVIEW: JESSICA HELEN LOPEZ – CUNT. BOMB.

A review of Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez’s chapbook with Swimming with Elephants Publications.

The Poetry Question

JHL

I’m not a woman, not a mother, never had breasts, or a child growing inside me, but thank you Jessica Helen Lopez for writing this chapbook, and making me want to thank my mother for everything she’s done for me, and apologize for every remotely bad, or disrespectful encounter we might have had.

The simple fact that I am a human, with a heart, who came from a woman, and loves a woman who is a mother of a daughter, allows me to wrap myself  in the words of this book. It helps me understand just a little bit of the world I’ll never really know. It makes me pay more attention to the words that leave my mouth. It makes me pay attention.

Jessica Helen Lopez’s Cunt. Bomb. (Swimming With Elephants Publications) is powerful. There’s an intense clarity in Lopez’s vision throughout this book. A body belongs to the individual, and…

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