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Open Call for Chapbooks 2018

THE OPEN CALL

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC (SwEP) is hosting a chapbook open call to find some fresh work and new voices. With over 50 publications under our belt, SwEP works hard to represent our authors and create publications of which our authors are proud. Please visit our website and check out some of our publications to see if we are a good fit for your writing, then polish up your best pieces to submit.

From our submissions, our guest judges will choose three for publication. All our publications include an ISBN, Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC contract, and creative control over cover and production. For more information on what SwEP provides its authors or to see a general contract, please email us.

In the past we have run this as a competition with a first, second, and third place, and various prizes awarded based on rank. This year we are not placing the submissions and instead, will choose three (3) to publish. All three chosen publications will receive the same award of 25 author copies.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

SwEP is seeking previously unpublished manuscripts of poems 25-75 pages in length. We are looking for well-crafted, visceral and daring material that promotes crossing physical/psychological/spiritual/gendered borderlands, therefore breaking boundaries and blurring the lines.

SwEP enjoys promoting diverse voices and are particularly interested in poetry that promotes an innate intersectionality of social issues and a deep respect for humanity. We like our poetry achingly raw and true to who YOU are as a writer.

We have a goal of promoting marginalized voices and those who are most often overlooked. If you feel your work doesn’t have a place to ‘fit,’ it may be perfect for us.

Open to writers worldwide, the open call is facilitated as a blind submission process via SwEP Submissions Manger. Additionally, all finalists will be considered for further SwEP publications and features.

HINTS

  • Get to know our press to make sure we are a good fit for you and your publication goals. Explore our website, order some of our publications, review our works on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads.
  • Send your best work. Make sure your collection is complete, edited, and polished before hitting the submit button.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Swimming with Elephants Publications accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($25) exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. To learn why we change a submission fee, please click here.

We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

All entries are read blind. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the collection). Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman. (More creative fonts may be incorporated after publications – see books by Wil Gibson as an example.)

Identifying information for the author should not be included anywhere on the manuscript itself, including in the name of your file or in the “title” field in Submittable. Please include a brief bio and your publication goals in the cover letter on Submittable, which will be made accessible to the editorial panel only after the Finalist manuscripts has been chosen. It is important to include your publication goals. If your goals are outside of our abilities, we will let you know.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript from Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.

Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the open call) are permitted. A separate submission fee is required for each submission.

OUR GUEST JUDGES:

Maxine Peseke

Maxine L. Peseke is a book reviewer, editor, and administrator with Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC. Her poetry can be found on our website as well as various anthologies. She plays an intricate role in website and social media maintenance.

Her work has previously appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of Catching Calliope, in both the poetry and prose sections; and she has worked previously as a coordinator and host of Valencia County’s first poetry slam and open mic, encouraging new and young writers to participate in the active poetry community in Albuquerque.
During her time as an active member of the ABQ slam poetry community, she qualified and placed third in the OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Slam Championship, in 2013, and again in 2014 when she tied for third place.

In 2013, she was among the top 10 female poets in Albuquerque and competed to represent the city at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam. In 2015, following a brief hiatus, she competed and qualified for the Slam of Enchantment finals stage, where she placed in the top five and represented New Mexico at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland.

Lately, she loves on other writers and can be found in an snowy small town in Northern Ontario, where she finds poetry in the giggles of her two girls and in every falling leaf, though her neighbours know her as the lady who tells her dogs to stop barking all too frequently.

 

Gina Marselle

Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed, resides in New Mexico with her husband and children. She is a high school English teacher, and finds enjoyment in being creative through poetry, painting, and photography. She has been awarded three grants for various philanthropy poetic projects. In addition, she has published poetic work with The Sunday Poem Online Series, in the Alibi, the Rag, SIC3, Adobe Walls: An anthology of New Mexico poetry, Catching Calliope, Fix and Free Poetry Anthology I and II, and La Palabra Anthology I and II.

Gina reads her poetry at local coffee shops, art galleries, and has been a featured poet at the Church of Beethoven (now known as Sunday Chatter). She has one chapbook (self published) titled ‘Round Midnight (2012). Furthermore, she has coordinated the poetry event for the Summer Open Space Series sponsored by The City of Albuquerque since 2009. Currently, she is honored to be part of the collective La Palabra: The Word is a Woman, which is a writer’s collective founded by poet Jessica Helen Lopez.

Beyond poetry, she is an accomplished photographer. Her photos of New Mexico poets have been featured in the Santa Fe magazine Trend (March of 2011). She also photographed the cover of Jessica Helen Lopez’ poetry book, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011), and has her photography featured in September: traces of letting go a poetry book by Katrina K Guarascio (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014).

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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

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.

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