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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Spotlight on Sarita Sol Gonzalez

saritasolmemeWhen I first met Sarita Sol Gonzalez (she must have been ten years old at the time), I remember being wrapped up in silent awe at the strength and earthquaking power such a young girl could exude. I, quite honestly, envied her, in that “I want to be Sarita when I grow up” kind of way; y’know the kind of envy that isn’t all green monster, all consuming? It was simply the “this girl is amazing and I’m going to step aside, but maybe hold her hand, lift it up, and shout her name from Sandia mountaintops just so everybody knows how amazing she is, too.”

Not that she needed much help in that. Her voice is one that carries without assistance, and her hands are held high enough on their own, with all the character of a young girl, now turned into a young lady, who speaks without shame or hesitation. Sarita Sol is my every wish for the future of performance poetry come true, not only because she performs with such character, but because she speaks with so. much. truth.

Perhaps this is because she doesn’t adhere herself to “slam trends”; instead, there is a constant flow of themes like ancestral and cultural pride, identity, evolution and change, and more, in Sarita’s writing. She speaks her truth, with a beautiful mix of metaphor and imagery, but as a youth writer, she isn’t just representing herself, or her community, but an entire slew of youth poets to come. Of course, you hear “raw talent” and “prodigy” thrown around a lot when it comes to youth poets, and this certainly isn’t a discredit to any who wear those words pressed to their hearts or allow them to escape their lips, but when it comes to Sarita, I wholeheartedly believe those words entirely apply. She has a whole list of accolades that support that, including being Swimming With Elephants Publications’ youngest author! 41sO02dIKJL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Sarita is that she began writing when she was seven years old — I, myself, have an eight year old who loves writing the most imaginative and silly illustrated stories, so I can only imagine the world through a seven-year-old-Sarita’s eyes. Now, at thirteen, she is still one of the youngest active members of the Albuquerque poetry community and, needless to say, she continues to absolutely slay, not only in her writing, but what she uses her writing and her voice for: community outreach, female empowerment, and, really, just utter divinity.

Some call her an old soul, but I call her a walking goddess of dreams come true. And for this, I still want to be Sarita Sol Gonzalez when I grow up; but I guess (considering I am what most consider to be grown already) I’ll settle on watching her grow up, and supporting her every effort to make her own dreams come true. And (here’s the selling point), you can, too! So won’t you consider donating to her education?

Or better, still, buy her book, so you can support her and dive deeply into the magical world of her writing. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

 

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Book Review: GNARLY

There is beauty in breathing razorblades and exhaling a painted sunset as delicate as it is too much to behold; that’s what Danielle Smith accomplishes in her first publication, GNARLY. And “gnarly” is the perfect description of Smith’s words as she takes you for a rollercoaster through first loves and heartbreaks, all playing out like a soundtrack under the visual madness of a New Mexico skyline. Smith has lit a match that burns just as bright as one of those remarkable sunsets.

And she manages to set the reader on fire, too, turning your heart into the campfire that might light the night as she whispers in your ear bittersweet-everythings; because this is the human experience. It is raw, gritty, soiled, messy, gnarly. From the truth showcased in teenage romance, in poems such as Minerals and Freckles, to the raw and heartfelt honesty of (His) Tie Dye and Making Nothing Out Of Something, Smith manages to take the reader down a new route where so many have tread before. She’s just wearing new shoes and holding a machete, fierce as a bleeding heart, to bushwhack her way through the bramble of her own thinking.

Her book reads like an indie record, but you want everybody to hear this one. Other poems, like Super 8, showcase true artistry, peppering the reader with hidden messages like whisper-kisses, finally ending on the “title track”, Gnarly which is everything and nothing you’d expect upon reaching the end: all madness, all frantic, all knees knocking, lip biting, nail scratching grit.

Overall, both deeply touching as it is a shock that such a young voice could carry so much wisdom and experience.

Her book, as with all Swimming With Elephants Publications, can be found online on Amazon and goodreads, where you can leave a review for this up-and-coming brilliant poeta.

 


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First Review of Light as a Feather

First Review of the new anthology Light as a Feather.

Light as a feather cover

After reading the first few pages, I realized what they were writing was exactly what I went through.  I  do not think that people have any idea how many girls are afflicted with this disease.   This book needs to read by every middle school and high school student.  Teens need to know that this disease will affect every aspect of your life, sometimes for the rest of your life!  Thank you so much  for compiling this book.

Order you copy today!


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Accepted for Catching Calliope Spring 2014

Thank you to those who submit to the Spring 2014 Edition of Catching Calliope! After careful review, the editors have chosen the following works in our Spring Edition. Our Spring Edition will be released in early May. Our next submission period will run from May 15th – June 15th. Like our page to stay updated.

Lady in the rain4,101~Victoria Alexander

A Triple Crown of Separation~Danielle Smith

Grandfather~Kirstina Ward

Tamales~Sarah Smithson

Or Flight~Jessica Helen Lopez

Grandpop’s House~Brooke Von Blomberg

Unabridged~Danielle Smith

Beth Road~Gina Falcone

First Memory~Zachary Kluckman

Primer~Damien Flores

I Take My Poet Friends to (Briefly) Meet My Dad              ~Jessica Helen Lopez

Write a Poem about It ~Mercedez Holtry

A Junkie like Me ~John S Blake

The Safety of Words ~Alicia Borillo

These Arms~Jesus Lucero

Cricket  ~Gina Falcone

A Ride Home~Emily Bjustrom

To the girl in my English class~Gabriella Reyes

Forty Turns of the Screw~Zachary Kluckman

Sadness is worn into his skin.~Sarah Smithson

An Unedited Heart~Gina Marselle

I Wish I could Fall in Love~SethWilson I. Gray

Death Bell ~Charles Sanzone-Wood

Sunsets                ~Bianca  Sanchez

Kites      ~Jasmine McSparren

Stardust~Amy Waltner

Left Not Right~Alicia Borillo

Love Cage~Susana Rinderle

We Were Never Really Any Good At Goodbyes ~Felicia Vigil

Aisle      ~Vogue Robinson

Wind Chime~Brooke Von Blomberg

Book Stained~SethWilson I. Gray

Outage ~ Jon Sturgess

Vapor~Charles Sanzone-Wood

River~Melissa Baca

Four~Gigi Bella

Morning ~Ryan Magee

Spring is an adolescent  ~Susana Rinderle


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Now Available: To The Last Word

Swimming with Elephants Publications is proud to announce its newest publication: To the Last Word an anthology of poetry from the 2014 ABQ Unidos slam team. Currently the book is available through Createspace and Amazon.com

Bianca's Pic

To order from amazon:  To The Last Word

Or to order from creatspace: To The Last Word 

Featuring:

 
Victoria Alexander
SethWilson I. Gray
Bianca Sanchez
Sarah Smithson
Amy Waltner
Claire Wimborne

Cover Art design by Bianca Sanchez

All proceeds from the sales of this collection will go directly toward raising money for the 2014 ABQ Unidos Slam Team. Support the youth of ABQ while getting your hands on some great poetry. Available for Special Event Pricing at all Unidos Fundraising Events, Cafe Bella Coffee, and local bookstores.