Now Accepting Submissions!

Swimming with Elephants Publications is now accepting submissions!

Whether you have a chapbook, short collection, or just a couple of amazing pieces seeking a home, Swimming with Elephants Publications might have a spot for you.

Visit our website and under the submit tab you will find our current Open Calls. The specific guidelines for each call can be viewed on our Submittable page or contact us with any questions.

We do charge a submission fee. To find out why: Click Here.

To learn more about this year’s guidelines for our Chapbook Open Call and meet our guest judges, click here. To be considered for publication during 2020 you must submit before December 15, 2019.

To learn more about the Weekly Write series for the 2020 publication year, and find out how to be our Weekly feature, click here. 

We can’t wait to read your work!

Now Available: Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs

Swimming with Elephants Publications is proud to announce the release of Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs by Tyler Dettloff (with illustrations by Claire Moore). Belly-Up Rosehip is the final publication chosen from our 2019 Open Call for Submissions, leaving with it much promise and enchantment before we open our virtual door again for this upcoming open call. 70224287_423656881612214_1457545139567198208_n

Deep-rooted in radiant pride for his Native culture, with a jazzy bluesy-feel woven with lyrical quality, this collection is more superb to finally behold in its fully-fleshed form; and though reading it alone was an awakening, to see it in print with illustrations to partner the poetry has made it all the more wondrous and indeed a publication that we, at SWEP, are happy to home.

Here’s what’s being said about Tyler Dettloff’s work:

This evocative collection invites a gathering of the lost and the found beneath  a sheltering shingwak. Peopled with trout and tamarack, Tyler Detloff’s words taste of iron, of spruce gum and honey.
— Robin Wall Kimmerer

69907995_2336701843234668_179766289965776896_n“I want my mouth to bloom,” writes Tyler Dettloff. How this mature first collection fulfills that wish! Influenced by jazz and blues, agriculture and fly-fishing, animals and birds, and his Anishinaabe Metis roots, family and culture, Detloff’s poems speak and sing at the same time. His words are mouth-pleasing, like his lines about spruce sap kneading gums, and teeth brushed with maple blossoms and hawk feathers. Tragic political injustices are confronted, but the poems triumph in their celebratory vigour. Even the titles—“Honey High and Nectar Prone,” “Surefooted Spring-fed Salt Lick,” “Thousands of Frogs Croaking Purple”—suggest the sensuous glories and vibrant voices of this book.
— Brian Bartlett

Has there ever been a lovelier word for medicine—indeed, a lovelier medicine—than rosehip? That’s what I thought as I read and was riveted by Tyler Dettloff’s Belly-up Rosehip, a book that loves thorns as much as bloom and sings of stink as beautifully as sweetgrass. When he writes of licking a fishing lure’s hook, or asking the pine needles “to have mercy on my tongue,” Dettloff describes caring for a place so much that you want your mouth where its mouths are, your tongue against its sharpest leaves. No wonder the wilderness in these poems is delirious. Sensual and serious and sometimes necessarily sad, this book charts an intimacy with a Northern Michigan landscape peopled by namegos (lake trout), migizi (bald eagle), and “whips of red willow buds” as well as human mothers, fathers, and lovers. “This is the place I was telling you,” the poet says, inviting us to listen to what the place tells him as he becomes the man the place makes him.
— Dr. Cecily Parks
Assistant Professor
Department of English & MFA Program in Creative Writing

 

Welcome to the parade, Tyler!

* You can support Tyler by buying Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs on Amazon. And as with all of SWEP’s titles, please review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!

New Release from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of Provocateur by Jessica Helen Lopez.

“Jessica Helen Lopez‘s poetry is viscerally vulnerable. With grace and poise she fearlessly dances with her demons returning triumphant and beautifully human.”

~Manuel González
City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus (2016-2018)

This beautiful collection, featuring cover art by Ben Harrison, contains Lopez’s most popular pieces from 2014 to the present.

“Provocateur is the way the word ‘woman’ feels in the gut– heavy and visceral, the malleable form that is holy and so often taken for granted.  These words are a weapon or a blessing, a warrior or a priestess.  Lopez navigates the landscape of femininity without shying away from it’s most ferocious instincts.  It is the reclamation I want my daughter to read on the days she does not feel good enough.  Jessica Helen Lopez reminds us how to live without sin– one of the greatest lessons we have to offer.  How to find the grace in our everyday selves.  This book is church.” 

~SaraEve Fermin, Author of Trauma Carnival

Join Jessica Helen Lopez and selected guests for the release of the publication on March 23, 2019 from 5-7pm at the Factory On 5th Gallery (1715 5 St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102).

This is a free event.

Copies of the publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Order your copy of Provocateur today from Amazon or other major book distributors.

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.

*

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.

*

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

*

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

*

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.

 

 

*

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

*

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”

*

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

*

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).

 

*

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

*

Student Anthologies

 

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

*

Eye of the Eagle 2018: Native American Community Academy

Happy fourth SWEP-aversary, Kai!

Today marks FOUR YEARS since PERISCOPE HEART, Kai Coggin‘s debut collection with Swimming With Elephants Publications, was released! PH Postcard 4x6We want to take this time to congratulate Kai on her many and continued efforts in pursuing change in the world through writing.

More recently, she was published in HER Magazine, in an article that showcased her work in poetry and the ties to her culture therein. We are SO proud of our parade in everything they do. Congratulations, Kai! And happy publication anniversary, from all of SWEP family, to you!


Kai Coggin was born in Bangkok, Thailand, but is currently a happy blip in the 3-million-acre Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Author of PERISCOPE HEART, published by Swimming With Elephants in 2014, and Wingspanpublished by Golden Dragonfly Press on Earth Day 2016, Kai was a 9th/10th grade English teacher I wish I’d had, before she transitioned fully to a career in writing. She has more accolades than could fit on a page, and basically continues to slay in the writing world. Please be sure to check out her website, kaicoggin.com (where you can get a full list of all those accolades!) and continue to support her in all of her efforts.