Light as a Feather; an anthology of resilience is Now Available

Now Available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

Light as a Feather:

an anthology of resilience

Available at Bookworks Albuquerque and all major book distributors.

Click here to order today from Amazon.

“This collection is a wrenchingly painful, honest, and ultimately beautiful depiction of what people with eating disorders struggle through. Part of the insidiousness of disordered eating is that it operates so definitively in secrecy. It is characterized by locked bathroom doors, midnight binges, furtively skipped meals, and deeply held shame. Shame thrives in darkness, and this book brings in light. It shines on all the pain that is so often hidden away, and in doing so is a message of resilience, healing, and hope.”

~Amanda Knoll, MA, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

Light as a Feather, Second Edition takes the focus on eating disorders from the mere act of survival into the courageous world of resilience. The authors within, through wit, humor, and ruthless self-reflection, pull back the curtain on what is often misunderstood, even considered too taboo to discuss outside of hushed voices. Eating disorders have long been perceived as a one trick pony. The truth is far more nuanced, spreading across biological sex, gender identity, ethnic background, race, and creed. Light as a Feather feasts its truth before you like a banquet, with prose and poetry shining across the table, delicacies ready to be plucked. Each story is a peek into an individual universe unique in its own existence.

Yes, this book is about disorders, but each writer’s experience could not be more diverse. Yet all are threaded together somehow, with a gentle and raw humanity that will ring true even with the most hesitant of readers. However, do not make the mistake of believing this carefully crafted work will pull its punches. Light as a Feather, Second Edition is violent in its lack of apology. When a group of survivors gather to share their stories, they do so with shocking brutality. In fact, they wear their own flawed humanity so keenly, you cannot help feeling your own internal urgency to unburden the truth.

Let reading Light as a Feather make you brave, as brave as the contributors found within these pages.

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Seeking Prose on the Subject of Eating Disorders

Seeking Non-Fiction Prose for the second edition of the anthology Light as a Feather which focuses on eating disorders.

View Submittable Form here.

Assumptions about eating disorders have historically fallen upon the shoulders of feminine presenting individuals with white skin, typically suffering from anorexia. However, the reality is much more complex, touching on people from every race, creed, socio-economic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, with each person standing at different crossroads of privilege and marginalization. We still discuss eating disorders in hushed voices, with shame and confusion cracking our words. It is the intent of this publication to shed a little more light on this subject.

This is where YOU come in!

We want to know your story. You do not have to be a  professional writer to be considered for this work. We are looking specifically for nonfiction prose, with special consideration for humor, confessions, and memoir.

You can write about anything that comes to mind, as long as it is authentic to your experience. It doesn’t have to be “heavy” or overly serious, unless you want/need it to be; we are looking for raw, honest pieces and believe that you would contribute a deep and meaningful facet to the larger story of hope and resilience.

Also, different view points are welcome. Perhaps you have lived with a person experiencing an eating disorder and have a story to tell or maybe you are in the medical field and have an introspective on the disorder you would like to share.

To Submit:

  • All submissions will be done through Submittable. Find the form by clicking here.
  • Please submit 1-3 pieces of short prose (3000 words max).
  • Please title your work and edit to the best of your ability for stronger consideration.
  • Include a brief cover letter and bio in the space provided by Submittable.
  • Writers are encouraged to use their real names. However, pen names will be accepted. No submissions will be accepted under “Anonymous.”
  • Contributors will be given two contributor copies and the ability to purchase more copies at publisher cost.
  • All proceeds are donated to a non-profit TBD
  • We would love to broaden the view of eating disorders, so if you feel your story is unusual/atypical, it might be just want we are seeking.

The first edition of Light as a Feather was published in 2014. It’s described as- “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.” For reference, please check out the first edition of Light as a Feather,available through all major bookstores/distributors. Click here to find it on Amazon.

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

Now Available: Light as a Feather

Light as a feather coverSwimming with Elephants Publications has released it’s most recent anthology, Light as a Feather. Featuring a collection of writers from around the world, this collection ranges from the weary to the hopeful. It includes the struggles with body images, eating disorders, and depression which are an unfortunate effect of the society we have created for ourself.

Light as a Feather will be available very soon from Swimming with Elephants Publications!

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

Meet our contributors:

Victoria Alexander is trying to take over the world using poetry and kittens, after all, no one wants to kills a kitten. It’s purrrfect.

Nika Ann is a writer. She enjoys reading poetry out loud to her cat, playing tag with the snooze button on her alarm clock, and drinking beers while watching Austin City Limits. She is not known for taking author bios very seriously. Please follow her blog site: nikarasco.wordpress.com

Blythe Baird is a 17-year-old actress, poet, feminist, and hopeful future member of Pussy Riot. She lives just outside of Chicago, IL. Other publications include Banango Street, GERM magazine, The Postscript Journal, and Weird Cookies Poetry.

Angela Blasi is a wandering wordsmith from the Garden state who’s been in love with performing since childhood.  She is an unabashed dreamer whose work reflects a mind that is constantly wondering.  A writer since she could first hold a pencil, her work is unwavering in its honest look at the world we have created for ourselves and our roles in it, examining everything from the socio-political to the passion of erotica.

Alicia Borillo is a lovely girl who likes elephants and writing poetry for the world to see. She has big dreams of inspiring the world.

Lurana Brown is a massage therapist, pianist, and mother. Her poetry has appeared on The Blue Hour and in Penny Ante Feud 13: Dying Words by Shoe Music Press.

Marian Dragomir is from Romania; He is a poet with 2 books of poetry published, “Verses for the Big life” in 2010 and “A book with mask” in 2012. He has participated with poems in more than 20 newspapers from Romania and in more than 15 anthologies, and she has also published more than 20 book reviews in different newspapers from Romania.

SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from Union City.   She is currently the editor-in-chief of Wicked Banshee Press (2014) and has competed in the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam.  The 2012-2013 Jersey City Slam Co-Slammaster performs locally, regionally and nationally and is a regular volunteer at National Poetry Slam events. 

Karen G (Garrabrant) is a decades plus poet and organizer from the Atlanta area. She co-founded Cliterati, the once a month reading at Charis Books & More, the oldest feminist bookstore in the country. She’s also served Poetry Slam Inc. as a trustee, Tournament Director and slam manager. Loving poetry in all forms, she also works in a library.

SethWilson I. Gray is a Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community youth poet. Currently a student at V. Sue Cleveland High School, he is also a member of the High School Poetry Community and the Storm Slam Team. He is the former state champion for Poetry Out Loud, participating in the National Finals in Washington D.C. in 2013.

Katrina K Guarascio is a writer and teacher living in Albuquerque, NM. She sponsors the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community and The Second Saturday Slam.

Jennifer E. Hudgens originally from Oklahoma, has been previously published in Kill poet, Decomp Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Requiem, Divine Carcass & Artistica. Jennifer has put out several chapbooks & spoken word CD’s and has been featured on Indiefeed Performance poetry. Jennifer released chapbooks 1729 in 2012, For the Ghosts We Were and The Curious Lives of Harriet Turbine in 2013.

Mikel K is a poet and memoirist living in Mableton, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, with his photographer-artist partner Just Joan, and their three dogs, two cats, two turtles, and bird. K was voting best Atlanta Poet, the last two years in a row, by readers of Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s weekly newspaper.

Jessicah Kean was born in small town South Carolina and raised on any given country road. On a dare from a high school teacher she began her writing career that transcends the page to the stage and has given her a network of support over the years. When asked her reason for writing…”It’s cheaper than therapy.”

Hillary Kobernick is a three-time member of Atlanta’s Art Amok! Poetry Slam Team. She holds a Master’s of Divinity from Emory University and currently pastors at a church near Chicago. Her poetry has appeared in literary magazines in the U.S. and Canada, including decomP, Paper Nautilus, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her work can always be found at http://hillarykobernickpoetry.tumblr.com/.

Benjamin Longfellow is currently an Adjunct English Instructor and Head Rugby Coach at Adams State University. He has a M.Ed from Antioch University Midwest and will finish his MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry at Western State Colorado University this summer.

Katelyn Lucas is a Bay Area-based writer and performance poet who has represented the Bay Area at National Poetry Slam events since 2010. She is the co-founder of The Voice of a Generation, a local business pairing artists with opportunities and dedicated to the enrichment of arts programs in local schools.

Levi J. Mericle is a twenty-six year-old poet and spoken word artist from Tucumcari, NM. He enjoys writing and submitting work in the forms of poetry, lyrics and children’s literature. He has struggled with mental illness for about fifteen years. His goal in life now is to help people (kids and teens especially) and be an advocate for life.

Piper Mullins is a survivor and activist. She is the Slammaster of the Denver Mercury Cafe Slam and was a competing member of the 2013 Denver Mercury Slam team. Her work has been featured in such publications as Metrosphere and La Palabra: The Word is a Woman.

Barbara Rockman teaches poetry and multi-genre writers workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies and have been twice nominated for Pushcart Prize Awards. She is the author of “Sting and Nest,” winner of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and the National Press Women Book Prize. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing, Barbara can be reached at motherpoet@aol.com.

Barnamala Roy a UG 3 student of Presidency University, Kolkata, India.  Her poems have been published in Voices, The Statesman, the South Point High School magazine, Ascent and a few little magazines.

Danielle Smith a student and poet and V. Sue Cleveland high school, enjoys Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, and aspires to exceed five feet tall and spread music and energy to the world.

Sarah Smithson is a tenacious young woman who has blossomed into a poet. She is the only person who knows how to correctly use the masculine grunt at poetry slams. She greatly enjoys the nerd life, frequent existential crises, her two best friends, and calling her dog a fatass in a wittle flubby wovey voice.

Mojdeh Stoakley is a 4x award winning bi-racial writer, performer, photographer & teaching artist. Her photography & writing have been published by many media sources and journals such as WBEZ online, Alarm Press, F News, and Muzzle Magazine, among others.

Sarah Van Alsten is a 17 year old from Connecticut with a passion for dogs, reading, and biology. She is intent on seizing life with a vengeance and seeing the world.

Genevieve Vigil is a wandering artist and dreamer who is currently rooting herself back home in the central desert of Albuquerque , NM. 

Kirstina Ward is a sophomore at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She is studying Psychology with a creative writing minor. Her work has been featured heavily on her mother’s fridge and read aloud at many a slam competition.

Emily Warzeniak is a biology major at UNM planning to specialize in nutritional and alternative medicine and healing arts. My biggest mission is to unite the opposing worlds of art, science, and spirituality within myself as a poet and one day as a healer.

Laura Welsh was born and raised in College Station, Texas. Now in her mid-twenties, she owns and operates a business training and competing jumping horses in the Olympic equestrian disciplines. Laura participates in slam poetry, and performs her own original work. She represented her home community in the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Abigail Wyatt, a former teacher at Redruth School, writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Cornwall and hopes for the best.