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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Beau Williams Live in ABQ

Join New England poet Beau Williams on his Nail Gun and a Love Letter tour as he performs at El Chante: Casa de Cultura on Monday, June 4, 2018 from 7pm-9pm.

Heralding from Portland, Maine, Beau Williams describes himself as a “fairly optimistic” poet, and what better way to describe his newest collection of poetry from Swimming with Elephants Publications than as “fairly optimistic.” Bittersweet journeys to bar floors and the bottoms of bottles, Nail Gun and a Love Letter is reminiscent of beat poetry days and the pilgrimages we must take to find ourselves.

Click here to learn more about this collection by reading the review by Maxine Peseke.

The show will be at El Chante Casa de Cultura (804 Park Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102) on June 4, 2018. It will begin at 7 pm with a short Open Mic, following by the featured performer, Beau Williams.

Copies of his latest release, Nail Gun and a Love Letter, will be available for purchase and signing.

You may also pick up Beau Williams’, Nail Gun and a Love Letter, from Bookworks ABQ or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.

Keep your eyes open for Beau Williams as he continues his tour across the country. He may soon be coming to a town near you!

 

 

 

 

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Featured SwEP Author: Bassam

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you one of our newest authors: Bassam.

SwEP has it’s first international publication with the release of Bassam’s collection, bliss in die/unbinging the underglow, in March of 2018.

“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

 

Pick up Bassam’s collection, bliss in die/unbinging the underglow, from Bookworks ABQ during the month of April or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.

 

Bassam

Bassam (they/them or xe/xim) is a spoken word poet, proud auntie, and settler residing on the traditional territory of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant (Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendatt, and Mississaugas of the New Credit). they are a member of the League of Canadian Poets, an executive board member with Spoken Word Canada, and has toured Turtle Island performing spoken word. Bassam earned title of national poetry slam champion at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in 2016 with the Guelph Poetry Slam team, and Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) finalist in 2017. they were editor-in-chief for ‘these pills don’t come in my skin tone’, a poetry collection exclusively by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) on the topic of mental health and illness, released in fall 2017. a (gender)queer, Jewish person of Middle-Eastern descent and a long-time sufferer of body dysmorphia, bipolar and eating disorders, bassam believes in radical kindness as resistance to colonization, that there is no peace without justice, and that intersectionality is vital in the struggle against kyriarchy.


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Featured SwEP Author: Manuel Gonzalez

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to ABQ Poet Laureate  Manuel Gonzalez.

Manuel Gonzalez’s collection, …but my friends call me Burque, was published from Swimming with Elephants Publications in October of 2014. Since that time, Manuel was named Poet Laureate of Albuquerque from 2016-2018.

Listen to Manny read from his collections here:

 

Pick up Manuel Gonzalez’s collection, …but my friends call me Burque, from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.

 

 

Manuel González

Mannie PicManuel González is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “My Word is My Power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets.

Manuel teaches workshops on self-expression and poetry in high schools and youth detention centers. He also works with an art therapist to help incarcerated young men express them-selves. He was also one of the coaches and mentors for the Santa Fe High Poetry Slam team from 2006-2010. Manuel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His mother’s family is from Barelas. His father’s family is from a small town in Northern New Mexico called Anton Chico, and his father was the lead singer of the band Manny and the Casanovas. He identifies himself as being Chicano. The history, culture, and spirituality of his people are among his inspirations.

His connection to his culture helps him connect to his students. Manuel teaches poetry as a means for self-expression. Looking within oneself and examining ones roots is the essence of the type of poetry he works with emotions, feelings, experiences, and prose in an historical and cultural context is the goal of his workshops. Self esteem, finding something to say, figuring out how to say it eloquently, and letting your voice be heard are just some of the benchmarks in Manuel’s workshop. Manuel resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and children.

For information on booking a workshop and/or performance, please send inquiries to: xicanopoet@yahoo.com.


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Featured SwEP Author: Mercedez Holtry

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Mercedez Holtry.

Mercedez Holtry’s first collection, My Blood is Beautiful, was published in October of 2015 after winning a performance competition for Southwest Shootout, a annual, regional poetry event sponsored by Poetry Slam International. Her second collection, I bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth,was published in early 2018 in anticipation for her 2018 tour.

Listen to Mercedez Holtry perform her poetry here:

 

“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

Catch Mercedez Holtry on tour this spring or order one of her publications from Amazon!

 

Mercedez Holtry

Mercedez Holtry is a poet, writer, mentor, and Xicana feminist who focuses on bringing out her roots, experiences and lessons learned through her poetry in hopes they embrace her people and other artists around her.  She has represented ABQ on multiple final and semi final stages for national poetry events. She placed 3rd out of 72 for best woman poet for the year of 2015 and holds multiple Albuquerque Slam Championships. She is a National Poetry Slam Group Piece Champion (2016), the winner of Modesto’s “ILL List Slam” in California (2017), and was featured in Mexico City’s “Diverso” Poetry Festival embracing Mexican voices through poetry (2017). She has worked with youth in poetry workshops in multiple cities around the country including Aspen Words’ “Poetry in the Schools” project since 2015. Mercedez is not only a poet but an outreach coordinator for the youth in Albuquerque in which she organizes workshops and poetry events for the youth to participate in. Since graduating from the University of New Mexico with her bachelors in Chicano Studies and Journalism, she continues to host a monthly poetry reading for the UNM called “Lobo Slam.” She is passionate about spoken word and aspires to continually learn all she can about her art through working, slamming, and organizing for her community.


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New Release from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

Rock Paper Scissors
Poetry by Mary Oishi and Aja Oishi
Available at Amazon for 14.95

 

“…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

 

Join Mary and Aja for their official Book Release at Bookworks ABQ on June 8th at 6pm.

 

Mary Oishi

Mary Oishi has two poetic voices: one stark and simple like that of her Japanese ancestors, and one that echoes the rhythms of preachers from her upbringing by her American father’s fundamentalist relatives. Both voices sing her songs of truth and social justice. She is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me (2011) and is one of twelve U.S. poets in 12 Poetas: Antologia De Nuevos Poetas Estadounidenses (2017), a project of the Mexican Ministry of Culture. Her poems have appeared in Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, Harwood Anthology, Sinister Wisdom, and other print and digital publications. Oishi is a public radio personality since 1996, most at KUNM-FM Albuquerque, where she hosts The Blues Show.

 

 

Aja Oishi

Aja Oishi lives in northern New Mexico. Her writing draws from ecology, anthropology, and the years she spent in Spain, Japan, and New Zealand. She revels in the uncaged world and makes a living (and a life) by fighting for prisoners as an appellate public defender. This is her first collection of poetry.