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.