Swimming with Elephants Publications

an independent, not for profit, publishing agent focusing on supporting the working author and non-profit organizations


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Available Now: I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth by Mercedez Holtry

Book ended artfully by two poems (“Dear Donald Trump” and “For Latinos Who Voted for Trump”) that bring much needed attention to the political climate and how the Trump presidency affects her and her people, Mercedez Holtry’s newest publication from Swimming with Elephants Publications is everything you could imagine from the renowned poeta. It, as the title proclaims, is a resistance of performance, blooming like sunflowers stretching to an Albuquerque sunset sky.

Mercedez goes further in speaking not only about the national political climate but also local change and gentrification of her beloved hometown — Albuquerque, New Mexico — in poems like “La Central gets a Makeover” in which she calls out by name former Mayor Berry and the many failings of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) and its continued construction. Woven with a deep woe for being the final generation that might cruise Central Avenue, she takes you on a journey of the Albuquerque she knows and loves.

But there is a softness to this resistance, too. In “You Bring Out the Burqueña in Me,” dedicated to her beloved, she journeys through all the makings of herself and her culture, her love and her home, painting an image that echoes the vulnerability in the poem prior, “The Heat of Summer.” Both veer away from the political undertone of this publication and yet, there is still a softly flowering rebellion in her words. A rebellion of self, of love, of light.

But as with nature, there is darkness behind the light. A persona poem, entitled “La Llorona Speaks,” takes the reader on a shadowed journey into muddy waters of loss, exploring the legend of La Llorona, or The Wailing Woman. Another stunning exploration of her own culture, this particular poem was a hauntingly beautiful read.

As ever, Mercedez does not fail to enlighten and educate with her second collection from Swimming with Elephants, bringing an artfully entwined variety of work.

You can purchase I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth on Amazon, along with her first publication, My Blood is Beautiful. And don’t forget to like Mercedez’s artist page on Facebook, and keep a lookout as she heads out for the Blooming Resistance Tour this May (and for inquiries about booking her for a feature, please contact our partners at sugarbookingentertainment@gmail.com).

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Coming Soon: “from below/denied the light” by Paulie Lipman

Welcome, Paulie Lipman, to the Swimming with Elephants Publications family!

Out of Denvthumbnail_BW Promo Picer, 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).

A magical individual, I’ve had the chance to share at least one meal with Paulie in a group setting during the 2015 Denver 40 oz. regional slam; from there, I can recollect Paulie’s genuine kindness, their welcoming spirit, their talent in writing and performing, their endless inspirations and ideas, and their sort of soft loudness that allows others to be heard while their voice lifts in passionate intervals. At the time, I was a “newbie” to competitive slam, but it was with that interaction that Paulie, a veteran to slam to my eyes, made me feel heard throughout the group conversation, going so far as to ask me questions personally so I might be involved in the busy-ness that often overwhelms when you’re sat at a table full of poets.

Their upcoming title with SwEP, “from below/denied the light,” is a deep exploration o317P2HxRehL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_f addiction, sobriety, spirituality, and identity. With micro-poem interludes, Paulie captivates with self-recognized flaws from the beginning, sharing with readers:

I am a snob when I have no right to be

I judge people who don’t read

Even though I’m a recovering junkie, I have
little tolerance for current ones

I love and help those who deserve it, don’t
ask me how I determine that

Nevertheless, he shines as an example in this brutal self-recognition of knowing he may be “horrible to love”; and still, his work is so easy to fall into as he touches on subjects of his queer identity and how it conflicts with his Jewish blood, and his path into recovery as he addresses past self-destruction.

Of course, with all this to consider, as the title may suggest, Paulie’s book is not a “light” read. Combatting demons throughout, Paulie has managed to create a subtle journey into sobriety and spirituality without overwhelming in its occasional anger and the quiet sadness of providing his own funeral dirge (in a poem aptly named Dirge). And even then, there is a tenderness on the final, lamentful line (but I’ll leave that to mystery).

Beautifully worded and artfully ordered, “from below/denied the light” is available for pre-order on Paulie’s site.

You can also follow them on Facebook or catch them on Instagram.

 


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Here’s What’s Going On…

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is up to all sorts of adventures these days.

We are currently wrapping the publications of this last summer’s chapbook competition. Books by Kat Heatherington and Courtney Butler are now available and Manuel Montoya’s publication should be out by the end of this month/early December. Stay tuned to for updates.

We are also celebrating SwEP on Small Business Sunday on November 25th at Bookworks ABQ from 3-5. Reading at this event are Kat HeatheringtonJessica Helen Lopez, Manuel Montoya, Gina MarselleKristian MacaronBill NevinsManuel Gonzalez, and Sarita Sol Gonzalez (confirmed). Any other SwEP authors who are available are also welcome to participate. The majority of SwEP publications will be available for purchase through Bookworks. After the Bookworks show, the celebration will continue at Dialogue Brewery where we can drink and make merry. This is an open event and we are hoping for a great turn out. We also may have an article in the ABQ Journal to help promote the event.

See the Facebook Invite here.

In December, we will have the official release of Courtney A Butler’s book. The event will take place at the Lomas Performance Space and feature the musical stylings of Danny the Harp and the artwork of Judy Marquez. This event is on the evening of December 9th and promises to be great fun! Also, an open and free event, please come by and pick up a copy of Courtney’s new book.

See the Facebook Invite here.

The book release for Manuel Montoya will be early in the new year, so please keep your eyes open for that future announcement.

Our partnership with Sugar Book Entertaining is promising more books by touring poets in the new year. We are currently working with Beau William to put his book together and we are in the review process with several other poets.

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For our authors:

SwEP is beginning to make some shifts toward becoming an official non-profit. We are in the process of creating a board and researching the paperwork and information to move us from an LLC. This move may create some shifts in our production model, but not to worry. All authors will be notified and given appropriate options when the transition occurs (later in 2018).

As we make this change, we will be looking for a new official logo. If you know anyone who is interested in this project please have them contact us at swimwithelephants@gmaill.com.

SwEP authors will begin receiving their royalty reports in December 2017. If you have updated your email, please notify us so that we can make sure you get your information. As always you will have an option to receive your royalties in cash or product as well as a time to review your continuation as a SwEP author.

Remember:

The best way to get your book into people’s hands is through featured performances, tours, and self-promotion. Please encourage your fans to review your book(s) via Amazon, Goodreads, review blogs, print newspapers, etc.

We will do our best to assist you by promoting your publication, events, reviews, and in any other way possible.

Also, as a SwEP author you are entitled to not only your own author copies at cost, but any other books in our catalog. Please help promote your fellow authors by submitting reviews of their publications and getting their publications out into the world.

 


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Coming Soon from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

The results of our summer Chapbook Competition has gifted us three amazing new authors and three amazing new titles.

Kat Heatherington’s the bones of this land was released in October.

Courtney A Butler’s Gypsy Horses is looking at a November release.

Manuel Montoya’s The Promethean Clock –or- Love Poems of a Wooden Boy should be available in December.

We have a few other titles on the plate for consideration giving us a very busy end of the year. Keep your eyes on our website for more updates in the coming weeks.

Want to support our press? Pick up one or five of the publications we offer. Find links on our website. Also, you may simply donate to our small business via the Paypal link on the home page (we’d rather you bought the books, but hey, support is support).