A list of our 2018 Publications (and links to buy)

We had a busy year!

Swimming with Elephants Publications produced several books during 2018. Review this years publications and get your hands on them before we embark on our publications for 2019.

All our books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BookWorks Albuquerque, and can be ordered by Independent Bookstores around the world.

Parade: A Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018

Get your hands on Swimming with Elephants Publications 2018 Anthology, Parade, featuring the poetry of Kevin BargerSaraEve FerminWil GibsonJessica Helen LopezMatthew BrownMaxine Peseke and so many more!

Only $7.95 and free shipping with Amazon Prime. Make great gifts and are a fine sampling of the poets Swimming with Elephants represents.

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La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño:: MiChicanidad Creativity as Witnessed in Bilingual Ethno-Poetry and Photography 

“La Diáspora de un Aztlán norteño” details the unique ‘MiChicanidad’ experience of life on the border in Michigan. This is another definition of Aztlán, as seen on a Northern Border, this time between Canada and Southwest Detroit’s predominantly Mexican American neighborhood. Growth of this Spanish speaking barrio began in the earlier part of the 20th Century due to the rise of migrant labor and employment at factories. Later, the area prospered as those immigrants began to choose to stay. Their addition to the interpretation of life on the border, as well as the community’s vibrant nature, is unparalleled especially as it is defined through creativity.

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Rock Paper Scissors

“…this collection carries both the beauty of human resilience and the searing pain of postatomic burning carnage. The poetry, like hope, is an obstinate and sturdy survivor, for ‘what could i do but write songs.’ These verses often push the envelope, asking questions that make more sense than our grammar. ‘are you out there in the stealth night on the edge of blue? listening/ are you loving me for sending you this fix of heartbreak/ slid down metal, taut and wound. electric. are you?’…haunting, resonant odes and the rhythmic power of promises and truth, poems spread across Hiroshima and Barcelona, Laos and Albuquerque. These poems bring the world into a familial embrace, but spit out the naked power of truth, both personal and political, as if it were a well-chewed chicken bone, gnawed raw. Through it all, this mother-daughter poetic duo reminds us that, in the beauty of human hope, ‘nothing sacred can be lost.’”

-Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate of Texas

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I Bloomed a Resistance From My Mouth

“Mercedez Holtry’s poetry speaks to the origin stories of her Chican@ and Mestiz@ people. It is a mixed bag of mixed blood and the celebratory songs of family, culture and the history of the la tierra that she has blossomed from. Her poems are resistance and resilience. She is a fierce page poet warrior who also casts her spells from the stage, as a true bruja does. Oppressors beware. Holtry mixes up curses, prayers and incantations with her poetic brew. This is a poet who uses her mas palabras for healing and retribution. Her collection de poesia es muy firme, a true reckoning of what is to come from a generation of woke poets who have much to say and aren’t afraid to say it. ”

-Jessica Helen Lopez, ABQ Poet Laureate, Emeritus and Author of the award winning book

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Pina Bausch

Originally written in french by Werner Lambersy, this short book serves as an homage to Pina Bausch, an extraordinary modern dancer. This English translation, by Jack Hirschman, serves as a continued remembrance to not only an amazing modern dancer but the poet whom she inspired.

 

 

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bliss in die/unbinging the underglow

“Bassam writes poems that feel like slow motion car crashes where, at every turn, you’re also reassured that it’s ok to feel like this, like even if nothing is going to be ok, there is strength to hold like a parking brake, like the axis of a planet. Bassam’s words are a gut punch, a pull to beating heart chest, a hand that holds yours in the bleak. One senses that the act of poetry for Bassam is truly one of survival. What a strength it takes to show our deepest insecurities, to not ask for forgiveness. To not be the hero of your own story. Bassam is a bright non binary voice. One that asks not for acceptance, but simply is, and tells the stories of body and mind that is so intimate and accessible to those of us who endlessly battle with our shapes, our selves. What a gift to give.”

—Charlie Petch, Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Musician

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BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing 

Within these pages, entitled “Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing,” Jack Hirschman and Idlir Azizaj present a translation of Jusef Gërvalla’s poetry. This is the first time this collection, originally published by the Naim Frashëri Publishing House, in Tirana, Albania in 1983, is translated in the English Language. In 1983, a year after the original publication in his native Kosovo Albanian, Jusuf Gërvalla, his brother Bardhosh, and comrade Kadri Zeka were allegedly murdered by the Serbian secret service in their exile in Germany. Gërvalla was known as a journalist and a musician as well as a poet, novelist, and founder of the Marxist-Leninist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo. For the first time, Jusuf Gërvalla’s poetry, including selections from his three books: They Fly and Fall, Green Stork, and Sacred Marks, can be shared by the english speaking population.

Unease at Rest

“Unease at Rest” is an ‘ugly butterfly’, anatomized. It is the death’s-head moth pinning itself under glass. Every poem is another marking on the insect’s back, resembling a human skull. Each one steadfastly reminds its author that it isn’t, in fact, a skull. But each feels about that heavy. In this grossly gorgeous collection, Gibson doesn’t wrestle or toss away the bones on his back. He quietly, humbly carries them. Wil doesn’t fly straight into the lantern’s yawning flame. He stares it down, he names it, and he reaches for it. He does so for us, sparing us the discomfort. And he does it with a steady and trained hand: imperfect palms stretched perfectly. The textual body of his poems, too, flex and fold this way. Every page a ‘soft, awkward, and most authentic’ wing. Wil reaches for the fire with such an ugly human grace, that it explains the ugly human light that swallows us too, by which we are lit from inside, to which we all are bound.”

– Bill Moran – author of “Oh God Get Out Get Out”

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Nail Gun and a Love Letter

This collection of poems alternately pierces the reader with astute and heartbreaking observations (Good Drums is a particularly devastating musing on white, male American-ness) while at the same time using evocative language to spar with and challenge the ideas of belonging and connection and love. These poems invite the reader to contemplate what it means to come from somewhere, and how it feels to long for a place that isn’t home, but could be. They invite us to see the mundane as essential, and to see and celebrate the things that connect us to our identity. The title of this collection is apt; like a nail gun, these poems violently pierce, but do so in service to building something sturdy and sheltering, and every one is a love letter to the dance that makes us who we are.

– Sherry Frost, Educator

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from below/denied the light

Out of Denver, Colorado, Paulie comes “from below” and rises to join our parade of writers. A two time National Poetry Slam finalist, Paulie Lipman is a loud Jewish Queer poet, performer, and writer. His work has appeared in the anthology ‘We Will Be Shelter’ (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache).

 

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The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy 

“These poems are a way of telling you what I saw, at least the remnants of those things. My poems have codes in them. They have forms that have long since lost favor. They have rhyme schemes and syllabic structures of old and new places. They have formlessness that abides by current trends, but embraces none of them wholesale. They are, as Milton once wrote, poems that attempt to champion the unnamable and the indeterminable. Mine are the equations of empty sets and irrational numbers as much as they are of ritual and nostalgia. I have decided not to appease all critique. I am at rest, because the people I trust most have said that there is something in them, something of where I am from, what became of my home, and what is becoming in the world. And for the first time in a long time I’m not ashamed of my part in this story. With all that I am, let these poems be a part of my apology to the world and to my beloveds, an apology for each moment as it passes to the next…”

~from the preface

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Student Anthologies

 

Tiempo/Oolkil – Now is the Time: Voces Summer Writing Institute Anthology 2018

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Eye of the Eagle 2018: Native American Community Academy

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Featured SwEP Author: Jack Hirschman

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Jack Hirschman.

Jack Hirschman is an emeritus poet laureate of San Francisco, a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, and the League of Revolutionaries for a New America. Both his publications with Swimming with Elephants Publications honor the work and words of revolutionaries from around the world.

His first collection with SwEP, entitled Passion, Provocation and Prophecy,  serves as an ode to Pier Paolo Pasolini. It contains an interview between Jack Hirschman and Justin Desmangles discussing the work of Pasolini and the influence his work has had over time. The interview is followed by two arcanes written by Hirschman which reflect on the man Pasolini was.

 

Jack Hirschman’s newest release from Swimming with Elephants Publications is a translation of the poetry from Jusef Gërvalla, known as a journalist and a musician as well as a poet, novelist, and founder of the Marxist-Leninist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo. In collection, entitled BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing, Jack Hirschman and Idlir Azizaj present a the first translation of Jusef Gërvalla’s poetry in the English Language.

Find Jack Hirschman’s newest translation, BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing

from Bookworks ABQ or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

 

 

Jack Hirschman

Jack HirshmanJack Hirschman (b. NYC, 1933) is the emeritus 4th Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco (2006-2009). He has published or edited more than 100 books of poetry and essays, including translations from ten languages: Mayakovski (Russian), Neruda (Spanish), Artaud (French), Lombardo (Italian), Celan (German), Laraque (Haitian), Gjakova (Albanian), Gogou (Greek), Glik (Yiddish) and Nwadike (Swedish), among many others.

His own major work is The Arcanes, (2006) published by Multimedia Edizioni of Salerno, Italy in the American language in which the two Arcanes in this book appear. It is a 1,000 page book of his longer poems, which he calls Arcanes, and a 2nd massive volume of more than 150 new Arcanes are scheduled to be published by the same publisher in 2015.

He is a founding member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade of San Francisco, and the World Poetry Movement in Medellin, Colombia.

Now Available: BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing

In the battle and stand of this people sacrificing and dying to realize its aspiration, we seem like immortals more beautiful and gallant than anyone alive. And there is no power that can stop us on our luminous road.

~Jusuf Gërvalla

Swimming with Elephants Publications is honored to introduce you to our most recent release: Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessingpoetry by Jusef Gërvalla, translated by Jack Hirschman and Idlir Azizaj. This is the first time this collection, originally published by the Naim Frashëri Publishing House, in Tirana, Albania in 1983, is translated in the English Language.

Gërvalla was known as a journalist and a musician as well as a poet, novelist, and founder of the Marxist-Leninist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo. In 1983, a year after the original publication in his native Kosovo Albanian, Jusuf Gërvalla, his brother Bardhosh, and comrade Kadri Zeka were allegedly murdered by the Serbian secret service in their exile in Germany.

With the publication of Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing, Jusuf Gërvalla’s poetry, including selections from his three books: They Fly and Fall, Green Stork, and Sacred Marks, can be shared by the English-speaking population.

Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing will soon be available at City Lights Bookstore and The Beat Museum Bookstore in San Francisco, along with Bookwork ABQ, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

You can also find Hirschman’s first publication with Swimming with Elephants Publications, Passion, Provocation & Prophecy at Bookworks ABQ, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

 

Jack Hirschman

Biography Adapted from The Poetry Foundation 

Hailed as “one of the left’s most prolific and consistent poetic voices,” by Contemporary Poets, Jack Hirschman was born in 1933 in New York City and grew up in the Bronx.

He is known for his radical engagement with both poetry and politics: he is a member of the Union of Street Poets, a group that distributes leaflets of poems to people on the streets. He has also been instrumental in the formation of the Union of Left Writers of San Francisco.

The former poet laureate of San Francisco, Hirschman’s style has been compared to poets ranging from Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Dylan Thomas, and Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg. His poems’ commitment to leftist politics draws comparisons to Vachel Lindsay and Pablo Neruda.

In keeping with his political values, Hirschman’s books are published with small, independent presses, often in small runs (such as Swimming with Elephants Publications). According to the poet David Meltzer, Hirschman is “a great teacher who refuses to work in the university, a scholar of great merit who refuses to publish in the mainstream presses; most everything is published by himself, 150 copies.”

Though Hirschman has rejected mainstream success, he has published prolifically. His 50-plus volumes of poetry include A Correspondence of Americans (1960), Lyripol (1976), Front Lines: Selected Poems (2002), and All That’s Left (2008). His 1,000-page masterpiece, The Arcanes, was published in 2006. The work, written over decades, was heralded by Alan Kaufman in the San Francisco Gate as “unlikely and historically significant a literary production as, say, the appearance of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass or James Joyce’s Ulysses… like Whitman’s and Joyce’s masterpieces, it traces the progress of an individual consciousness through landscapes teeming with the horrible glory of modern life.”

But while he is known throughout San Francisco, his real literary fame has blossomed in Europe, where he frequently publishes both his original work and volumes of translation. Meltzer noted that in France “they consider him a major Communist poet.” Part of Hirschman’s dedication to politics and poetry can be traced to his numerous translations of radical poets from around the world.

Hirschman continues translating the work of radical poets with the publication of Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing.