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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Have you met Paulie Lipman?

 

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to welcome poet Paulie Lipman to our Parade. Paulie’s collection, from below/denied the light, will be released February 2017 and available during Paulie’s next tour, as well as online retailers.

 

Click here to preorder your copy today!

 

 

Get to know Paulie by reading some of his previously published work online:

Ghost City Press

Drunk in a Midnight Choir

The Harpoon Review

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The Book You Need to Have

Language of CrossingWhen the manuscript of Language of Crossing first crossed my desk, I immediately knew it was an important work which profoundly reflected upon some of the most disturbing issues concerning immigration in America. In light of recent events, the building of “the wall” and American relations with Mexico, it is even more important than ever.

Through poetry, Liza Wolff-Francis tells the stories, demonstrates the horrors, and gives a human face to those people who are so greatly affected by the immigration. The struggle continues. This is not a reflection of what is past, but a collection of what continues. If you want to truly understand the strife of the undocumented, start here.

Order the Language of Crossing from Amazon for only $10.95 by clicking here.

About the Publication:

Liza Wolff-Francis’s Language of Crossing is a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. She writes of a reality that must be ignored no longer. It is the struggle, strife, and violence that is endured by those who flee their country in hopes of a better life. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability. Language of Crossing is a political outcry, a finely tuned collection of endurance of a people, and a passionate advocacy for all to take notice. Wolff-Francis is a real activist planting poetic prayer flags across the vastness of a desert.

Reviews from Amazon.com:

By Francois Pointeau

“In Brownsville there’s a hundred
stash houses where they keep the immigrants
once they’ve crossed over in north heaven.
The coyotes take their shoes from them,
take their clothes so they don’t run, keep them
behind locks. Quiet. Callados.
En silencio, until the next trek
on into the land of the free.

(from the poem “In Brownsville there’s a stash house where they keep the immigrants”)

The poems in Language of Crossing by Liza Wolff-Francis will break your heart. Is this the America we live in? Yes it is. Is this the way we treat the poor and the needy? Yes it is.

Whatever happened to: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” –The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

These words have become the Myth of America. Wolff-Francis brings the tragedy, the reality of the true faces of the immigrants to life, not the myth…she paints us a picture of what is going on right now on our southern borders. She gives individuals crossing our borders a human face, a human heart, and a human longing for a better land, a better place, a simple place where you can raise your family without the fear of death at every corner. And for many of these immigrants, what they find is everything but. Wolff-Francis doesn’t pull any punches. What she writes about, we can not ignore, we can no longer turn a blind eye to. This is an important collection of poems, and you need to read it.

By hanginwithlewis

I’m so glad I was able to get a copy of Language of Crossing. As I’ve been listening to NPR and hearing about humanitarian crises in Africa and the Middle East, I’ve kept wondering at how strong our national political policies must be, that we turn a blind eye to what’s happening at our threshold. Before the book launch reading at La Resistencia Bookstore in Austin, I knew there were people crossing the border, and many if not most of those journeys did not have a happy ending. But I hadn’t realized there was a humanitarian crisis in progress, so I feel that I’ve at least had my eyes opened in a way that allows me to look at what’s going on more critically and realistically. Not that I’ve saved any lives yet, per sé, but I’m glad to be able to read about your perspective, rather than only hear the President’s. And the found poem that opens the collection, “Border Trauma,” is still haunting me months later.

LizaHeadShotAbout the Author:

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Edge, Twenty, unseenfiction.com, Border Senses, and on various blogs. As a social worker, she has worked with Spanish speaking immigrant populations for twenty years. She wrote the play “Border Rising” from interviews with undocumented Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Albuquerque, NM.


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Saltwater Under Brittle Sky: A Review by SaraEve Fermin

Saltwater

Saltwater Under Brittle Sky: A Chapbook of Poetry
Lori DeSanti

A Review by SaraEve Fermin

 

They say that we are made of about sixty percent water, give or take.  Some of us more—babies, men, maybe water signs.  Imagine a world of blues and greens.   Close your eyes, water everywhere—lapping at your feet, falling gently into your cupped hands, misting gently to envelop your face.  Water warm and gentle, water cleansing and bright.

Lori DeSanti’s Saltwater Under Brittle Sky is a lot like taking a walk through a  sun shower on your own island, like waiting for the clouds to break and dry any wet that remains on your cheek—from dew to tears.  This collection of poems is compact but beautiful, unpretentious in their succinct on page presentation.  Each of the nineteen pages is no more than two pages long, and the collection is small enough to tuck into a back or inside coat pocket, a collection asking to be read in the open air, under trees and next to running streams.

In ‘The Artist’, DeSanti manages to capture the sharp beauty of South Shore, Bermuda.  She gives the cove a personification that renders this land ancient and begging to be discovered, reminding us of how small we are in God’s palms-

…hurricane
god cupping teal water in his palm as it

dripped in big gulps from his chin.

There is a vein of darkness that runs through this collection, shadows that hide among the breeze.  These poems temper the lightness of DeSanti’s work; keep the poems from floating away.  The ‘Brittle’ of the title can be found in ‘Disclosure’-

I am full of sin and it’s growing.
How can you not know what
I’ve let his hands make of me?

Still, we return to water, like a stream empties into the ocean, like tears evaporating.  There is a reminder that sadness can be all encompassing, that sorrow can be the beginning of healing-

Sometimes the rain is cathartic—sometimes I find myself
drowning in a puddle without even getting wet.

-The Continuum

LoriThere is a triumph to this collection, my favorite part.  There is a reminder that in the mess of a struggle sometimes you have to ground yourself.  Sometimes the only thing that you have to rely on is yourself.  DeSanti reminds us that survival is attainable by metamorphosis, like in ‘Metaphor’:

We can grow scales in
the darkness or we can forget
there is venom building
up

in our teeth.

DeSanti reminds us to revolt against the water in our bodies.   This brave collection carefully examines relationships with the earth, the self, with love and with her wild ocean heart.  For who are we if not people constantly thrown into a current of emotions, forced to navigate the waters of humanity, each of us paddling our own boat madly, looking to make a connection with another?  DeSanti reminds us that there are islands out there, waiting to be inhabited and perfumed with love.  All you need to do is reach for them.

Let the ocean beat you
down to size.  It teaches us.

-Bury That Moment

Saltwater Under Brittle Sky is available now from Swimming by Elephants Publishing. Order from Amazon here.  To learn more about the author visit loridesantipoetry.wordpress.com.

 

Book Reviews by SaraEve Fermin:

SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from New Jersey.  A 2015 Best of the Net nominee, she has performed for both local and national events, including the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam and for the Greater Los Angeles Epilepsy Foundation 2015 Care and Cure Benefit to End Epilepsy in Children. The Editor in Chief of Wicked Banshee Press, a Contributing Editor for Words Dance Magazine and Book Reviewer for Swimming With Elephants Publications,  her work can be found or is forthcoming in GERM Magazine, Words Dance Magazine, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and the University of Hell Anthology We Can Make Your Life Better: A Guidebook to Modern Living,, among others. Her first full length book, View From The Top of the Ferris Wheel, will be published be Emphat!c Press in 2016. She believes in the power of foxes and self publishing.  Learn more here: http://saraeve41.wix.com/saraevepoet


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Welcome Dominique Christina and her Latest Publication “They Are All Me”

Dominique Christina

DC Bio PicDominique Christina is a mother, an educator and an agitator born and raised in Denver, Colorado 40 years ago. She holds two Masters degrees in English Literature and Education respectively. A licensed educator, Dominique taught in the Denver and Aurora Public school systems in Colorado for ten years, directed college prep programs and taught in an adjunct capacity at Community College of Aurora and Metropolitan State University of Denver. She believes that words make worlds. In the slam world (competitive poetry) Dominique began in 2011. That same year she won the National Poetry Slam Championship. In 2012 she won the Women of the World Slam Championship. She won it again in 2014. She’s the only person to win that honor twice.

She is a Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute fellow. Her work has appeared on TV One’s season 3 Verses and Flow show. She has performed with Cornel West and was an invited guest to Washington DC to read her poem “Emmett Till” for the Till family and the parents of Trayvon Martin, a young man who was killed in Sanford, Florida. Her first book of poetry, The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm, was published by Penmanship Books 2014. Her second book, a collection of poetry, essays, and writing prompts, is set for publication in October 2015 by Sounds True Publishing. Her work also appears in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and magazines and has been featured in Huffington Post and Upworthy several times.

Dominique’s family was critical in the civil rights movement. Her aunt Carlotta Walls-Lanier was one of nine students to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. Her grandfather was a shortstop, Hall of Fame baseball player for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues before baseball was integrated. When he left, Jackie Robinson, who would later go on to integrate baseball, took his place. Dominique’s mother, Professor Jackie Benton, is named for Jackie Robinson. She is mother to four wildly expressive children who never use inside voices…ever. But they are the raw material of possible and give her plenty of reasons to praise.