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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Featured SwEP author: Courtney Butler

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Courtney A. Butler.

Courtney Butler’s collection, Wild Horses, was published in late 2017 after winning third place in a SwEP’s 2017 chapbook competition.

“Courtney A. Butler has written a book that manages to be strong and fierce while remaining innocent and full of wonder. Balancing the line between jaded adult and hopeful youth while painting the clearest picture of why the writing evokes that same sentiment- this is a fun, emotionally fulfilling collection that I will enjoy the 37th time as much as the 1st. I’ll be pre-ordering her next book, as there will surely be many more.”

-Review by Wil Gibson,
Author of Quitting Smoking, Falling In and Out of Love, and Other Thoughts About Death

Order Courtney A Butler’s Wild Horses from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

 

Courtney A Butler

Courtney Alyssa Butler grew up in south Texas, which accounts for her very decisive twang when she’s been drinking just a little too much, or supremely pissed off. Her family moved to New Mexico, where she developed a strong affinity for performance poetry and theater. She attended St. Andrew’s University in North Carolina, mostly because it had ponies and green grass to play in, but ended up with a double major in English and Creative Writing nonetheless. To continue her sordid love affair with the written word, she earned her master’s in Creative and Media Writing from the University of Swansea in Wales. She moved to Chicago, Illinois and worked as an English instructor and tutor, and earned her cosmetology license, before moving back to New Mexico in 2013. Now, she works in the non-profit sector by day, while doing hair, special effects makeup, and writing at night…like Batman but with more flair. You can find her first book of poetry Season for Season at St. Andrew’s University Press, Laurinburg, NC.

If you’re interested in poetry-in-progress, or the rambles of a mad woman, you can also check out her blogs:

TheCourtRose at thecourtrose.blogspot.com

and

Un Bel Mondo at thecourtrose-abeautifulworld.blogspot.com

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Featured SwEP Author: Gigi Bella

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Gigi Bella.

Gigi Bella’s collection, 22, was published from Swimming with Elephants Publications in January 2017 in preparation for her move to New York City.

Listen to Gigi perform a poem from her collection here:

Pick up Gigi Bella’s collection, 22, 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.

Gigi Bella

GiGi Guajardo//{gigi bella} is an award-winning poet, musical theatre actress, and educator of the arts. She recently earned the title of Albuquerque’s Woman of the World 2017 representative. She was named a group piece champion at the 2016 National Poetry Slam and a National Semi-Finalist at the 2013 National Poetry Slam as a member of the Albuquerque Slam Team. She is a student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a Theatre minor. She loves marshmallows, sparkling purple lipstick, and Wes Anderson movies. She continues to be a hopeless romantic.

 


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Featured SwEP Author: Kai Coggin

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Kai Coggin.

Kai Coggin’s collection, Periscope Heart, was published in late 2014 after winning first place in a SwEP’s 2014 chapbook competition.

“Kai Coggin’s first full-length collection, Periscope Heart – as the title may suggest – overflows with intimate reflections on life and love that offer the reader heartfelt observations into places ordinarily beyond our range of vision. Through sensual chronicles that beautifully illuminate taboo subjects, Coggin’s poetry draws from nature and personal narratives to intimate us with her passion for justice, social change and spirituality, in dynamic, seductive strokes.”

– Catherine Ghosh

Editor of Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry by Women

 

Listen to her read here:

Order Kai Coggin’s Periscope Heart directly from her per her website: kaicoggin.com

or from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

 

Kai Coggin

Kai Coggin is a poet and the author of PERISCOPE HEART, her stunning debut collection released by Swimming with Elephants Publications, (2014). Her second full-length collection is entitled Wingspan, a deeper dive into the soul and sound of this woman, this activist, this lover, this spirit. Wingspan was released on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, by Golden Dragonfly Press. 2017 brings the poet off the page into sound with the much anticipated release of her debut spoken world album SILHOUETTE.

Kai was born Kimberly Katherine Coggin on New Year’s Day 1980 in Bangkok, Thailand. She was raised in Southwest Houston (Alief), and is currently a happy blip in the 3-million-acre Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Before transitioning to a career in writing, Kai was first a 9th and 10th grade English teacher, who took her students outside for poetry and drum circles on the lawn, and built a life-size balcony, and meter-stick-aluminum-foil-wrapped swords in her classroom for Romeo and Juliet. People wondered about her methods… but the students learned… and loved her. She convinced her students of the power of their own writing with a poetry and persuasive writing project that culminated with a visit from the internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros.

Kai believes that learning is a personal journey for everyone, that cannot be constricted and confined by the classifications and labels of standardized testing. She strives to, someday, help change the paradigm of education as a whole. In Houston, despite (or because of) her radical methods, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year, District Secondary Teacher of the Year, and competed for Regional Teacher of the Year against 5, out of 85,000 teachers.

Presently, with her focus shifted more towards poetry, Kai is a specialized Teaching Artist of Creative Writing, on the Arts in Education Roster for the Arkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning for the Arts. She also teaches a community adult creative writing class at Emergent Arts called Words & Wine.

Kai holds a Bachelor of Arts in Poetry and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University, and an honorary degree from the school of Hard Knocks. She writes poems of love, spirituality, the striving of the soul, feminism, race, sexuality, global injustice, metaphysics, and beauty. Everything that she writes is infused with Heart and Light.

Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Lavender Review, Broad!, The Tattooed Buddha, Split This Rock, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk Monkeys, Snapdragon, ANIMA, Elephant Journal, and many other literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry has recently been nominated twice for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016.

Kai knows that words hold the potential to create monumental and global change, and she uses her words like a sword of Beauty. She can be found most Wednesdays at a local venue, reading her poems into an open mic, hoping the wind carries her words out to the world.


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Featured SwEP Author: Matthew Brown

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Matthew Brown.

Matthew Brown’s collection, Verbrennen, was published from Swimming with Elephants Publications in January 2014 marking it one of the earliest publications by SwEP.

Listen to Matthew Brown perform a poem from his collection here:

Pick up Matthew Brown’s collection, Verbrennen, 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.

 

MattMatthew Brown

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 both a Hispanic and African American perspective.


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SwEP Featured Author: MJR Montoya

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to MJR Montoya.

MJR Montoya’s collection, The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy, was published in late 2017 by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC after winning 2nd place in our 2017 chapbook competition.

“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…” 

 

Pick up  MJR Montoya’s collection, The Promethean Clock or Love Poems of a Wooden Boy, from Amazon  or Barnes and Noble today!


Manuel (MJR) Montoya

Manuel (MJR) Montoya, was born and raised in Mora, New Mexico.  He is a professor at the University of New Mexico.  He blends studies of philosophy and literature with studies of international relations, economics and management to understand the evolution of the global political economy.  He received his undergraduate degree at UNM, with graduate schooling from New York University, Oxford University, and Emory University.  He is engaged in community work to support the creative economy, he is dedicated to work that eliminates child exploitation worldwide, and he is passionate about handmade craft – he has been an amateur watchmaker for 12 years.  He has published poetry and short stories in various national publications.