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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Here’s What’s Going On…

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is up to all sorts of adventures these days.

We are currently wrapping the publications of this last summer’s chapbook competition. Books by Kat Heatherington and Courtney Butler are now available and Manuel Montoya’s publication should be out by the end of this month/early December. Stay tuned to for updates.

We are also celebrating SwEP on Small Business Sunday on November 25th at Bookworks ABQ from 3-5. Reading at this event are Kat HeatheringtonJessica Helen Lopez, Manuel Montoya, Gina MarselleKristian MacaronBill NevinsManuel Gonzalez, and Sarita Sol Gonzalez (confirmed). Any other SwEP authors who are available are also welcome to participate. The majority of SwEP publications will be available for purchase through Bookworks. After the Bookworks show, the celebration will continue at Dialogue Brewery where we can drink and make merry. This is an open event and we are hoping for a great turn out. We also may have an article in the ABQ Journal to help promote the event.

See the Facebook Invite here.

In December, we will have the official release of Courtney A Butler’s book. The event will take place at the Lomas Performance Space and feature the musical stylings of Danny the Harp and the artwork of Judy Marquez. This event is on the evening of December 9th and promises to be great fun! Also, an open and free event, please come by and pick up a copy of Courtney’s new book.

See the Facebook Invite here.

The book release for Manuel Montoya will be early in the new year, so please keep your eyes open for that future announcement.

Our partnership with Sugar Book Entertaining is promising more books by touring poets in the new year. We are currently working with Beau William to put his book together and we are in the review process with several other poets.


For our authors:

SwEP is beginning to make some shifts toward becoming an official non-profit. We are in the process of creating a board and researching the paperwork and information to move us from an LLC. This move may create some shifts in our production model, but not to worry. All authors will be notified and given appropriate options when the transition occurs (later in 2018).

As we make this change, we will be looking for a new official logo. If you know anyone who is interested in this project please have them contact us at swimwithelephants@gmaill.com.

SwEP authors will begin receiving their royalty reports in December 2017. If you have updated your email, please notify us so that we can make sure you get your information. As always you will have an option to receive your royalties in cash or product as well as a time to review your continuation as a SwEP author.


The best way to get your book into people’s hands is through featured performances, tours, and self-promotion. Please encourage your fans to review your book(s) via Amazon, Goodreads, review blogs, print newspapers, etc.

We will do our best to assist you by promoting your publication, events, reviews, and in any other way possible.

Also, as a SwEP author you are entitled to not only your own author copies at cost, but any other books in our catalog. Please help promote your fellow authors by submitting reviews of their publications and getting their publications out into the world.



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Welcome SwEP Author Eva Marisol Crespin

Burque native, Eva Marisol Crespin is a slam poet who has been writing and performing poetry since the age of 12. Coming off a win at the 2016 National Poetry Slam Group Piece Finals, Eva has been a part of a number of slam teams who have seen final stage. She continues to slam and write poetry in her hometown of Albuquerque. She is currently working towards her degree in social work, working as a server, and teaching writing workshops in the community. She identifies as an Indigenous, Queer, Xingona, Xicana, who is sculpting words and ripping herself open to speak her truth.


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Wish Upon A Star: A Review

Wish Upon A Star

an unauthorized intimate reflections with Walt Disney

A Review by Katrina K Guarascio

wish-upon-a-star-1_origWish Upon a Star, an unauthorized intimate reflections with Walt Disney
, presented by Enchanted Rose Theater, written by Andy Mayo and directed by James Cady, is a humanizing take on a legend of entertainment. Set in a screening room in 1966, Vernon Poitras portrays Walt Disney who, while conducting a video will of sorts, takes the audience through the details of the building of the Disney empire and his own childhood.

The concept is based on a rumored movie that Disney made weeks before his death, where he speaks to animators and story men, not only to thank them for their labors, but also to urge them to create his final dream: EPCOT. Since the video was never found and is often denied, writer Andy Mayo takes it upon himself to create that video for us in this short play.

Poitras gave a wonderful portrayal of Disney in what essentially was an hour and a half monologue. Poitras looked and played the part perfectly requiring the audience to fall into his story without question. Despite being a one man show, the audience was held at attention, listening to his stories and feeling his trials and successes. He shifted with ease through the history of some of the most well known Disney stories, including Snow White, Steamboat Willie, Bambi, connecting with the audience and their own personal associations with the Disney catalog. By the time the transition to a more personal history of the man came, Poitras had hooked the audience making the character alive, visceral, and engaging. Truly, it was a wonderful performance.

mickey_apprenticeOne of the most memorable parts of the story was when Disney spoke of his creation of Fantasia, particularly the episode entitled The Apprentice. He claims that in the story he was the sorcerer, “Yensid” (Disney spelt backwards) but through his story, he realized he was not the great wizard who mentored Mickey and cleaned up his mess, but instead Mickey himself. He states is frustration, “Turns out I’m not the sorcerer, just a damned mouse.” He claims to be “a phantom of myself” entertaining a very universal and human feeling, How many of us have lost ourselves trying to become someone else?

While watching the performance there were some questions that roamed my mind. Not being a Disney historian, I didn’t know what aspect of the play were factual and what may have been incorporated for entertainment factors. Did Disney really hate Cinderellla? Did he really think of Fantasia as his masterpiece? Where the stories of his own childhood, telling stories of a youth that was cold, difficult, and so very relatable, true or simply for entertainment purposes? Where these stories based on facts? An internet search might answer all these questions, but as I left the theater I found myself completely uninterested in fact checking. The purpose of the play was not to give a Wikipedia biography of the man. It was to connect us as human beings. The great character became someone that reminds people of their own difficulties, their own exhausted efforts, their own happiness.

download-1While listening to Poitras speak, he became less the infamous Disney and more the common man filled with simple regrets, different personas, dreams, and disappointments. He was my grandfather talking about his childhood paper route. He was my fellow artist disappointed at the failure of a project he cared so much about. He was a man who thought he was one thing, but turned out to be something else.

If writer Andy Mayo’s goal was to humanize the character whilst filling his audience with positive memories, he was successful. Set your history books and internet searches aside for this one and listen to the story of a legend who was really just a man.

See Wish Upon a Star at The Cell Theater (liveatthecell.com) December 2-3, 9-10 at 7:30 and December 4th & 9th at 2:00pm. Rated PG for adult language.

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Gina Marselle Bookworks Release This Weekend

Gina MarselleJoin us this weekend for the official release of Swimming with Elephants, LLC latest publication: A Fire of Prayer, a collection of poetry and photography from Gina Marselle.

The title will be released at Bookworks ABQ, Sunday March 29, 2015 at 3pm, accompanied with a reading by Ms. Marselle. Other SwEP authors will be on site to support the release of this new title.

Come out and join the fun! Support your local press, your local artists, and your local bookstore all in one swoop.


About the Author:

Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed, resides in New Mexico with her husband and children. She is a high school English teacher, and finds enjoyment in being creative through poetry, painting, and photography. She has been awarded three grants for various philanthropy poetic projects. In addition, she has published poetic work with The Sunday Poem Online Series, in the Alibi, the Rag, SIC3, Adobe Walls: An anthology of New Mexico poetry, Catching Calliope, Fix and Free Poetry Anthology I and II, and La Palabra Anthology I and II.

Gina reads her poetry at local coffee shops, art galleries, and has been a featured poet at the Church of Beethoven (now known as Sunday Chatter). She has one chapbook (self published) titled ‘Round Midnight (2012). Furthermore, she has coordinated the poetry event for the Summer Open Space Series sponsored by The City of Albuquerque since 2009. Currently, she is honored to be part of the collective La Palabra: The Word is a Woman, which is a writer’s collective founded by poet Jessica Helen Lopez.

Beyond poetry, she is an accomplished photographer. Her photos of New Mexico poets have been featured in the Santa Fe magazine Trend (March of 2011).She also photographed the cover of Jessica Helen Lopez’ poetry book, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011), and has her photography featured in September: traces of letting go a poetry book by Katrina K Guarascio (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014).

A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography is her first full length collection.

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Coming Soon: Order Books from Our On-Line Store

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Beginning in just a few short months, you will be able to place orders for Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC through our website.

This is a wonderful alternative for those who want to avoid the “big box” distributors and continue to support our emerging press.

The store is not currently open, as inventory needs to be completed and supplied, however, take a moment to check out the link by clicking here.

Stay tuned and until the store opens, please continue to search our inventory on our list of titles and order from our various distributors.