Swimming with Elephants Publications

an independent, not for profit, publishing agent focusing on supporting the working author and non-profit organizations

Full Length Poetry Collections

Full Length Poetry Collections currently available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

Poetry Collections are longer works of poetry, generally containing up to 50 poems and are longer than 125 pages in completion. Learn more about how Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC defines full length Poetry Collections on our What We Do page.


Unease at Rest
by Wil Gibson
Available on Amazon $15.00

“Unease at Rest is an ‘ugly butterfly’, anatomized. It is the death’s-head moth pinning itself under glass. Every poem is another marking on the insect’s back, resembling a human skull. Each one steadfastly reminds its author that it isn’t, in fact, a skull. But each feels about that heavy. In this grossly gorgeous collection, Gibson doesn’t wrestle or toss away the bones on his back. He quietly, humbly carries them. Wil doesn’t fly straight into the lantern’s yawning flame. He stares it down, he names it, and he reaches for it. He does so for us, sparing us the discomfort. And he does it with a steady and trained hand: imperfect palms stretched perfectly. The textual body of his poems, too, flex and fold this way. Every page a ‘soft, awkward, and most authentic’ wing. Wil reaches for the fire with such an ugly human grace, that it explains the ugly human light that swallows us too, by which we are lit from inside, to which we all are bound.”

– Bill Moran – author of “Oh God Get Out Get Out” – Write Bloody Press


BEKIMI I NËNËS / A Mother’s Blessing
by Jusuf Gërvalla (Author),
Jack Hirschman (Translator),
Idlir Azizaj (Translator)
Available on Amazon 12.95 

In the battle and stand of this people sacrificing and dying to realize its aspiration, we seem like immortals more beautiful and gallant than anyone alive. And there is no power that can stop us on our luminous road.

~Jusuf Gërvalla

Swimming with Elephants Publications is honored to introduce you to our most recent release: Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessingpoetry by Jusef Gërvalla, translated by Jack Hirschman and Idlir Azizaj. This is the first time this collection, originally published by the Naim Frashëri Publishing House, in Tirana, Albania in 1983, is translated in the English Language.

Gërvalla was known as a journalist and a musician as well as a poet, novelist, and founder of the Marxist-Leninist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo. In 1983, a year after the original publication in his native Kosovo Albanian, Jusuf Gërvalla, his brother Bardhosh, and comrade Kadri Zeka were allegedly murdered by the Serbian secret service in their exile in Germany.

With the publication of Bekimi I Nënës, A Mother’s Blessing, Jusuf Gërvalla’s poetry, including selections from his three books: They Fly and Fall, Green Stork, and Sacred Marks, can be shared by the English-speaking population.


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


Nail Gun and a Love Letter
Poetry by Beau Williams
Available on Amazon for $15.00

This collection of poems alternately pierces the reader with astute and heartbreaking observations (Good Drums is a particularly devastating musing on white, male American-ness) while at the same time using evocative language to spar with and challenge the ideas of belonging and connection and love. These poems invite the reader to contemplate what it means to come from somewhere, and how it feels to long for a place that isn’t home, but could be. They invite us to see the mundane as essential, and to see and celebrate the things that connect us to our identity. The title of this collection is apt; like a nail gun, these poems violently pierce, but do so in service to building something sturdy and sheltering, and every one is a love letter to the dance that makes us who we are.

– Sherry Frost, Educator


Quitting SmokingQuitting smoking, falling in and out of love, and other thoughts about death
Poetry by Wil Gibson
Available at Amazon for $15.00

Wil Gibson’s’ newest book is a crime scene of honesty. What I mean is, he peels his own heart open for you and invites you to the dinner. Upon reading ‘I am gone, I am almost always gone’ the floor feel out beneath me– only a poet can make life with epilepsy seem like a long sleep, not the tripwire dance we are lost in. Part survival, part motivation, I tore through this collection– and then started from the beginning again.





They are all meThey Are All Me
Poetry by Dominique Christina
Available at Amazon for $14.95

They Are All Me, Dominique Christina’s second full length collection of poetry and third book, collapses that separation between compassion and rage. Here is a book of a linguistic brilliance and of praise for the entourage of African-American heroes and martyrs who are part of all our souls’ memories.






Litanies Not AdoptedLitanies Not Adopted
Poetry by R.B. Warren
Available at Amazon for $12.95

Litanies Not Adopted is a beautiful, authentic collection of experiences, odes to loved ones, and lyrical confessions. It is an honest and raw account of one man’s lifetime and the people who have come and gone.







Of Small Children / and Other Poor Swimmers
Poetry by Brian Hendrickson
Available at Amazon for $12.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ $10.00

About the collection:

Of Small Children / And Other Poor Swimmers is centered in the push-pull of place. Hendrickson wants to leave behind his Florida childhood, where every memory is still moist, but he continues “calling on the voices” and crossing back, wading into love, loss and danger with vivid imagery.

— Lauren Camp, author of three collections of poetry, including One Hundred Hungers, and winner of The Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press)

Brian Hendrickson demands the inclusion of the real press of the discursive and meditative into his poems, by juxtaposing multiple levels of diction, and by frequently shifting between the anecdotal, the essayistic, and the lyrical. Through his careful use of these techniques, Hendrickson is able to achieve James Sculley’s ideal of “audacious speaking”: he refuses to capitulate either to the lyrical moment or the abstraction, and so his poetry exists and persists as an urgent place for utterance of consciousness.

— Don Winter, author of seven collections of poetry, including Saturday Night Desperate


Periscope Heart
Poetry by Kai Coggin
Available at Amazon  for $15.00.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $15.00

About the collection:
In Coggin’s debut collection of poetry, the Heart is the lens through which she leads us in words. Every line is infused with beauty and light and a yearning that is inescapable, palpable. Her voice is precise and piercing, like a song you hum without knowing, because it is already inside you. Her poems carry the fluttering soul, with vivid imagery that is tangible and evocative. PERISCOPE HEART is the sound of wings opening.

“I first met Kai Coggin as a blazing fire of energy, a supernova educator in the Houston high schools. Now she is on her light path teaching through her own poetry. Her words are spells, chants, prayers, invocations. Thank you, Kai, for work of the spirit, for illuminations like desert thunder and a night sky of benedictions.”

– Sandra Cisneros author of House on Mango Street



The Fall of a Sparrow

Poetry by Katrina K Guarascio
Available at Amazon  for $12.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ $10.00

About the collection:

Here is a collection of poetic wonderment, musings on the ineffable universal experience of beauty as it is. Real, at times veiled by the uncertain consequence of letting go or giving in, yet always an experience on the lip of the chasm, preparing for wild success or the wailing dismay of failure. Guarascio’s poems are filled with beautiful creatures, metaphoric animals crawling amongst the words, haunting the reader with their subtle, but necessary presence. In these poems are love, loss, resignation, breathlessness, intimacy and touch; the edge of the blade pressing against the plump flesh of the fruit or the slight swell of hipbone under a lover’s hand.