Spotlight on Sarita Sol Gonzalez

saritasolmemeWhen I first met Sarita Sol Gonzalez (she must have been ten years old at the time), I remember being wrapped up in silent awe at the strength and earthquaking power such a young girl could exude. I, quite honestly, envied her, in that “I want to be Sarita when I grow up” kind of way; y’know the kind of envy that isn’t all green monster, all consuming? It was simply the “this girl is amazing and I’m going to step aside, but maybe hold her hand, lift it up, and shout her name from Sandia mountaintops just so everybody knows how amazing she is, too.”

Not that she needed much help in that. Her voice is one that carries without assistance, and her hands are held high enough on their own, with all the character of a young girl, now turned into a young lady, who speaks without shame or hesitation. Sarita Sol is my every wish for the future of performance poetry come true, not only because she performs with such character, but because she speaks with so. much. truth.

Perhaps this is because she doesn’t adhere herself to “slam trends”; instead, there is a constant flow of themes like ancestral and cultural pride, identity, evolution and change, and more, in Sarita’s writing. She speaks her truth, with a beautiful mix of metaphor and imagery, but as a youth writer, she isn’t just representing herself, or her community, but an entire slew of youth poets to come. Of course, you hear “raw talent” and “prodigy” thrown around a lot when it comes to youth poets, and this certainly isn’t a discredit to any who wear those words pressed to their hearts or allow them to escape their lips, but when it comes to Sarita, I wholeheartedly believe those words entirely apply. She has a whole list of accolades that support that, including being Swimming With Elephants Publications’ youngest author! 41sO02dIKJL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Sarita is that she began writing when she was seven years old — I, myself, have an eight year old who loves writing the most imaginative and silly illustrated stories, so I can only imagine the world through a seven-year-old-Sarita’s eyes. Now, at thirteen, she is still one of the youngest active members of the Albuquerque poetry community and, needless to say, she continues to absolutely slay, not only in her writing, but what she uses her writing and her voice for: community outreach, female empowerment, and, really, just utter divinity.

Some call her an old soul, but I call her a walking goddess of dreams come true. And for this, I still want to be Sarita Sol Gonzalez when I grow up; but I guess (considering I am what most consider to be grown already) I’ll settle on watching her grow up, and supporting her every effort to make her own dreams come true. And (here’s the selling point), you can, too! So won’t you consider donating to her education?

Or better, still, buy her book, so you can support her and dive deeply into the magical world of her writing. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

 

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In a Word: Nepal

July 12 Nepal FlyerFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEPAL BENEFIT AND BOOK RELEASE BRINGS TOGETHER TWO EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS AND TWO AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS FOR ONE AFTERNOON AT THE ALBUQUERQUE MUSEUM ALBUQUERQUE, NM –

On April 25th, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake tackled the
country of Nepal. Over 8000 are dead, and counting. The country’s antiquated infrastructure was not built to withstand the natural disaster that left an already fragile economy flat, and many with our homes, food and water.

On Sunday, July 12th at 2pm, Inaugural Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy and acclaimed visual artist Joanne Lefrak host a fundraiser to benefit their newfound family and network still recovering from the quake. Two hundred (200) numbered, limited edition copies of Bellamy’s new book Prayer Flag Poems (Swimming With Elephants Publications) will go on sale at the event with all proceeds going directly to the organizations, schools and families that Bellamy and Lefrak befriended on their 2014 trip to Nepal. Lefrak (Director of Education at SITE Santa Fe) will join Bellamy at the July 12th event to share photos and context for their 2014 trip that began as a collaborative artistic project and resulted in an a life changing experience.

The event will also feature special guests Dr. David Stryker and UNM Economist Lee Reynis. Stryker and Reynis are Albuquerque residents who found themselves trekking the border between Nepal and China when the April 25th earthquake occurred. They
will share stories from their experience of being stranded for days after the earthquake, and their safe return to Albuquerque.

IN A WORD: NEPAL will be held at 2pm on July 12th, 2015 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History (2000 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104). This educational community event is open to the public and appropriate for all ages.

Charitable donations can be made with cash, check or credit card at the event.

For more information please contact Hakim Bellamy at beyond.poetry@writeme.com or
505.750.7226.

July 12 Nepal Flyer

Coming Soon: To The Last Word

To the Last Word

Bianca's Pic

an anthology of poetry compiled

for the members of the

2014 ABQ Unidos Team

 

Featuring:

 

Victoria Alexander

SethWilson I. Gray

Bianca Sanchez

Sarah Smithson

Amy Waltner

Claire Wimborne

All proceeds from the sales of this collection will go directly toward raising money for the 2014 ABQ Unidos Slam Team. Support the youth of ABQ while getting your hands on some great poetry. Available at all Unidos Fundraising Events, local bookstores, and Amazon.com beginning May 1, 2014,

Greetings and Salutations!

Publisher LogoSwimming 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.

Catching Calliope Book Release

Greetings and Salutations!

Catching Calliope FlyerYou are cordially invited to attend the book release for Swimming with Elephants Publications First Anthology: Catching Calliope Winter 2014.

Catching Calliope is a compilation of poetry from members and supporters of the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community.

During the March 8th edition of The Second Saturday Slam at Cafe Bella Coffee in Rio Rancho, you can pick up a copy for only $10. You can also get your copy on Amazon or CreateSpace if you will miss the evening festivities.

All proceeds from sales go to the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community.

Our goal is to sell 30 books at the release party to be able to pay for the New Mexico State Slam competition in May.

All contributors are entitled to a free copy which can also be picked up at that time.

We are fundraising in order to take the Sandstorm Slam Team to state, as well as other regional slams during the summer months, and ideally earn enough so we can register as an official non-profit.