Swimming with Elephants Publications

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


Leave a comment

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).

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Some of it is Muscle: a review by Mark Fischer

Some of it is muscle promo 1Some of it is Muscle
Zachary Kluckman

Reviewed by Mark Fischer

Some of it is Muscle is an exercise in strength and perseverance in the poet’s life. Kluckman carefully excises the tough parts, puts them on display in ways that, sometimes, make you confused by how beautiful the scary bits are, and, in doing so, closes old wounds with the love of family and community. The images in this collection will surprise, challenge, and titillate both brain and heart. It is apparent that the poems in this collection were chosen and placed with precision. The poet takes you on a journey from heartache to heart-heal.

I found myself re-reading certain stanzas like puzzles and being rewarded with magical webs of metaphor like tendon and sinew that capture and coalesce into images that are unique to the mind, heart and voice of Mr. Kluckman. For example in the poem The Lions of Dusk he writes “the slow blue impalas swim like neon tetras through the heat haze, windows full of fever” effectively transforming the sinister into survival.

262710_10200154892465990_1862870133_nKluckman plays well with many traditional forms in this collection too, reminding us he is a puzzle man himself. Kluckman is well known for his devotion to the poetry community. He is an organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, the creator of the world’s first Slam Poet Laureate program, and editor of Pedestal. He is also a two-time member of the Albuquerque National Poetry Slam Team and a recipient of the Red Mountain Press National Poetry Prize. This second book of poems by southwest poet Zackary Kluckman is worth picking up. It is a book of challenges met, made beautiful, and mended. Some of it is muscle but the whole of it is love.


1 Comment

The Second Saturday Slam featuring Matthew Brown

MattSponsored by the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community, you are cordially invited to the Second Saturday Slam at Cafe Bella Coffee!

The Second Saturday Slam will feature the poetic talents of ABQ youth poet Matthew Brown, who will be debuting his newest publications: Verbrennen. Bring a little extra cash to take a piece of Matt home with you.

VerbrennenCome by around 6:30 to sign up for the open mic and the slam, and listen to stylings of The Second Saturday Band. (Keep… in mind Cafe Bella doesn’t open till 6:15ish o…n these nights). …

The slam list is limited to six and will be run head to head style, per our norm, so if you want to Slam you best get on the list early. This will be a qualifying slam for ABQSlams.

This is a free event, but we do request you purchase a beverage or snack from Cafe Bella and tip your baristas. We also will be accepting donations for the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community.

This is an all ages family friendly venue (that’s right kids, try not to cuss so much and I’ll work at it too :0) which will hopefully create a comfy, regular home for poetry in Rio Rancho.

If you can’t make the show, pick up Matt’s book on Amazon: Verbrennen.


Leave a comment

Now Available: Verbrennen by Matthew Brown

VerbrennenSwimming with Elephants Publications is proud to announce its newest publication: Verbrennen by Matthew Brown.  

To order from creatspace: Verbrennen

To order from Amazon.com:Verbrennen

Description:

Matthew Brown is a young poet born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though relatively new to slam poetry, he has preformed alongside some of Albuquerque’s most seasoned poets, and represented New Mexico two years in a row as a member Unidos Poetry Collective at Brave New Voices. Matthew Brown’s poems expose social, racial, and economic inequalities from a Hispanic, gay, and African American perspective.


Leave a comment

Matthew Brown

MattMatthew Brown is a young poet born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though relatively new to slam poetry, he has preformed alongside some of Albuquerque’s most seasoned poets, and represented New Mexico two years in a row as a member Unidos Poetry Collective at Brave New Voices. Matthew Brown’s poems expose social, racial, and economic inequalities from both a Hispanic and African American perspective.

Matthew Brown’s latest chapbook Verbrennen is now available on Amazon, Createspace, and Bookworks Albuquerque via Swimming with Elephants Publications.