Swimming with Elephants Publications

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

Poetry Collections and Chapbooks

 Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is proud to produce several individually authored chapbooks and full length poetry collections.


the bones of this land
poetry by Kat Heatherington
cover art by Gwendolyn Prior
Available on Amazon for $10.95

“Turn these pages and “the barrel jumps/ in your hand and the stock / kicks your shoulder.” Inside  Bones of This Land, you’ll find a love taut as cells on the brink of dividing. Whether cancer, death, compassion or even affection rips humans apart, we’re all gonna get there. As Heatherington writes, “Everyone’s father dies of something.” These poems share one woman’s journey and let each of us decide how we feel –and perhaps even see what we missed out on. Kudos. ”

–Lisa Gill


Elegy for a Star Girl

Poetry by Christopher Grillo
Available on Amazon for 12.95


Each poem in Elegy for a Star Girl is categorized into three elements of existence: The Other World, The Here and Now, and Transcendence, and each poem is a combination of life experiences, Science Fiction, and space. These poems illustrate great depth within the soul, body, and mind, and the illuminating language and imagery express the universe as a metaphor. Life is questioned and answers are hard to find. Life is a journey that must be experienced from above. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.


Poetry by Eva Marisol Crespin
Available on Amazon for 10.95

Burque native, Eva Marisol Crespin is a slam poet, writer and activist. She has been writing and performing poetry since the age of 12. Eva has been a part of a number of youth and adult slam teams who have seen many final stages. She continues to slam and write poetry in her hometown of Albuquerque. She is currently going to school to be a social worker, working as a server and teaches writing workshops in schools, recovery centers, and in the community when possible. She identifies as a queer, Xingona, Xicana, sculpting words, and ripping herself open to speak her truth.




for-thoseFor Those Who Outlast Their Pain
Poetry by Niccolea Nance
Available on Amazon for 15.00

This book is part of a charity project to bring awareness to sexual assault. All profits above the cost of printing the book and shipping will go to further the cause. Proceeds will be divided between local women’s shelters, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and The Outlast Project.

Although this book was inspired by Sexual Assault Awareness Month, instead of being a collection of “rape poems” it is a journey from the beginnings of pain through the darkness and struggle all the way to the healing, strength, and light on the other side. It begins in childhood and works its way to womanhood in a way that is laced with universal truths about pain and redemption.

Poet and artist Niccolea M. Nance has been putting her emotions on paper since she could first write full sentences. Niccolea began performing her spoken word poetry in 2002 and has methodically developed her talent over the years with a multitude of feature performances throughout the Phoenix metro area as well as Tucson, Flagstaff, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Hermosillo, MX.

Poetry by Gigi Bella
Available at Amazon for 12.95

This is Gigi Bella’s first full length collection of poetry. Encompassing many of her most popular performance pieces and a few new additions, this collection is a perfect representation of her current accomplishments as a young writer.

Pick up a copy today to help her get to WOWPS 2017, and don’t forget to leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon.com.

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.


YouMustBeThisTallFront CoverYou Must Be This Tall To Ride
Poetry by SaraEve Fermin
Available at Amazon for 10.95

“In her second book, You Must be This Tall to Ride, SaraEve Fermin does hard work with that which so many poets avoid; the poems here are not merely “how I got through/behold my strength” but rather, the nuanced and measured stories that happen after life’s big moments. In defiance of a life filled with so many “one-step-back” erosions, she shows us how simple actions can be the victories that enable us to move one-step-forward; she shows us how every day, just-showing-up love means more, in the long run, than capital L fireworks ever can.”

~Ryk McIntyre,
performance poet
editor and author of After Everything Burns


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.




Girls Who Fell in Love with War
Poetry by Jennifer E. Hudgens
Available at Amazon for $10.95

With this collection of poetry, Jennifer E. Hudgens delves into the mess of life, dissects the carcass and sucks the meat off the bones—the meat being experience, leave the bones lying stark against the page. Each poem is both mourning and a celebration. The celebration of survival thrums in the silence. These poems will gut you and make you cry glory; have you coming back to the feast of being over and over again.




SaltwaterSaltwater Under Brittle Sky
Poetry by Lori DeSanti
Available at Amazon for $10.95

Lori DeSanti’s Saltwater Under Brittle Sky is a lot like taking a walk through a  sun shower on your own island, like waiting for the clouds to break and dry any wet that remains on your cheek—from dew to tears.  This collection of poems is compact but beautiful, unpretentious in their succinct on page presentation.  Each of the nineteen pages is no more than two pages long, and the collection is small enough to tuck into a back or inside coat pocket, a collection asking to be read in the open air, under trees and next to running streams.




41X2bbAG2xL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_My Blood is Beautiful
Poetry by Mercedez Hotlry
Available at Amazon for $10.95

Mercedez Holtry is a slam poet, writer, student, mentor, and Chicana feminist who focuses on bringing out her roots, experiences and lessons learned through her poetry in hopes that they embrace her people and other artists around her. She has represented ABQ on multiple final and semifinal stages for national poetry events. Mercedez is passionate about spoken word and aspires to continually learn all she can about her art through working and slamming for her community.




Language of CrossingLanguage of Crossing
Poetry by Liza Wolff-Francis
Available at Amazon for $10.95

Liza Wolff-Francis’s Language of Crossing is a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. She writes of a reality that must be ignored no longer. It is the struggle, strife, and violence that is endured by those who flee their country in hopes of a better life. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability. Language of Crossing is a political outcry, a finely tuned collection of endurance of a people, and a passionate advocacy for all to take notice. Wolff-Francis is a real activist planting poetic prayer flags across the vastness of a desert.


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.






Poetry by Danielle Smith
Available at Amazon for $10.95

“Gnarly” is not what you expect: a collection of love poems, this is not an assemblage of sappy sonnets or couplets. Smith catches the reader off-guard with her close attention to sound, metaphor, and form as she explores the chambers of a bruised heart. Pumping out vivid imagery, there is music in these poems that should make you read each word carefully and out loud, relishing in Smith’s clever twists of language. A compendium of catharsis, ‘Gnarly’ will make you realize just how far you can fall in love with heartache.




download (2)Storm
Poetry by Kristian Macaron
Available at Amazon for $10.95

Cover Art by Gwendolyn Prior

Kristian Macaron’s first chapbook of poetry features her various experiences in New England during the midst of some of the most powerful storms to pass through in the last several years. Her poetry is raw, honest, and revealing. This is a wonderful for collection for anyone who has experience the confusing effects of natural disaster as well as those who may have never had such an experience.




Observable ActsObservable Acts
Poetry by Kevin Barger
Available at Amazon for $10.95

Cover Art by James Burbank

Kevin Barger is a performance poet, writer, and retired slam organizer based in Asheville, NC. He was instrumental in bringing slam poetry back to popularity in Asheville after its rise, fall, and subsequent misfirings in the area by helping to lay the groundwork for Poetry Slam Asheville from 2008 through 2011. He has also appeared on many other stages in and around the Carolinas including the Lake Eden Arts Festival, Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, the Individual World Poetry Slam, and Southern Fried in which he was on the first team from Asheville sent to Southern Fried in nearly a decade. Now, semi-retired from the slam scene but itching to get back on stage again, he has compiled old favorites and new material in Observable Acts; his first endeavor onto the published page.


PPPPassion, Provocation, and Prophecy
Interview and Poetry by Jack Hirshman and Justin Desmangles
Available at Amazon for $10.95.

I am excited and honored to say that this slim collection is now available through Swimming with Elephants Publications.

We are thrilled to welcome Jack Hirshman as our latest author.

This book is not a collection of Pasolini’s work, instead it serves as an ode to him. Beginning with an interview between Jack Hirschman and Justin Desmangles, and followed by two arcanes written by Hirschman which reflect on the man Pasolini was, this slim edition is a companion piece to honor a voice silenced before its time.

I highly recommend adding the book In Danger (City Light Books , 2010) as a companion to this book. The book, edited by Jack Hirschman, is a wonderful introduction to Pasolini and his works.

Passion, Provocation and Prophecy is a wonderful dialogue to those who have an interest, love, understanding, and appreciation for not only Pasolini’s work but for the man he was


Gina MarselleA Fire of Prayer
Poetry by Gina Marselle
Available at Amazon for $15.00.

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.


Burque…but my friends call my Burque
Poetry by Manuel Gonzalez
Available at Amazon  for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ $10.00

About the collection:

The first complete collection from beloved New Mexico poet Manuel Gonzalez contains many of his most popular performance pieces along with poems he has used and shared in classrooms throughout the state.

Manuel states:  “I’m proud to be from New Mexico, and to me it’s more than just green chile and desert. It’s seeing the value of famila and respect. It’s the Rio Grande valley and Santuario de Chi-mayo. It is feasts, dance, poetry and prayer.”

This collection honors New Mexico, her traditions and her beauty.


Of Small ChildrenOf 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


PH Postcard 4x6Periscope 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


Heartbreak ridgeHeartbreak Ridge

Poems by Bill Nevins
Available at Amazon for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ $10.00
“Heartbreak Ridge is a campfire of the resistance, a place where all kinds of poems-from jeremiads, scourgings, and passionate rants to absolutely beautiful works of love and loss-gather between its covers. Bill Nevins is a truth-teller,and what he has to tell us about the last half century of American life and politics is a matter of highly charged poetic urgency.”

~Terence Winch, author of Boy Drinkers,

“When New York Was Irish” and many other works of poetry, music and fiction.

Sparrow Cover

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.

Loved Always Cover

Loved Always Tomorrow

A Chapbook by Emily Bjustrom
Available at Amazon  for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

About the collection:

“Emily Bjustrom’s work applies truth like healing; the uncovered wound, the blood, the sting, the cool breath, the forehead kisses. The most explicit topics are slid under our vulnerable doors with internal rhymes, consonance, and diction that soothes us into unlocking every lock. We let her in, not because we’re afraid she’ll break down our doors, but because we have to see the face tethered to a voice we know we could never live without.”
John S. Blake – Author of Beautifully Flawed, Pushcart Prize nominee, Teaching Art

my verse covermy verse,

Poetry by Katrina K Guarascio and Photography by Shawna Cory
Available at Amazon  for $14.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

From the Preface:

When one woman creates we know this as spell casting.  When one or more of these female titans get together with the intent to produce art we call this act of goddess: splitting cells.  Lord help us all if they begin to shed clothes, vulnerabilities, secrets, traumas, and metaphors that bounce like agitated atoms.  This is the naked truth shook loose from words and physical form. This is poet Katrina K Guarascio and photographer Shawna Cory when they decided to comingle and author a book. 

Love a Writer Cover

To Anyone Who Has Ever Loved a Writer

A Chapbook by NIka Ann
Available at Amazon  for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

A little about the book:

To truly love a writer a certain level of understanding is required. This short anthology expresses, through poetry and prose, the innermost working of the writer’s mind, or at least this one particular writer’s mind. This is not a collection of apologies or excuses, but explanations and glimpses into a psyche often kept private and secluded. Hopefully exploring this work will give perspective and understanding to those with writers in their lives, as well as the writers who may feel they need an ally to their madness.

Verbrennen CoverVerbrennen

A Chapbook by Matthew Brown
Available at Amazon  for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ $10.00

A little about the poet:

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 a Hispanic, gay, and African American perspective.



September Cover

September: traces of letting go

Poetry by Katrina K Guarascio and Photography by Gina Marselle
Available at Amazon  for $14.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

A little about the book:

A collection of poetry by Katrina K Guarascio, accompanied by the photography of Gina Marselle, September: traces of letting go is a beautiful collaboration sharing the efforts of these two artists. This collection contains poetry from Guarascio’s previous out of print books as well as new poetry which has never been previously published. This is the first publication combining the works of these two artists but hopefully will not be the last.



Cunt. Bomb.

A Chapbook by Jessica Helen Lopez
Available at Amazon for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00

A little from the foreword:

These precious jewels of epiphany continue to guide me as I uncover for myself women, gender-identified women and allies who advocate for equality, who fight against the oppression and pillage against women and of course who dive whole-heartedly into the vastness and mysterious complexity of unbridled sexuality. Yes, I love the cunt. Yes, I have one. And yes, I will continue to use the word because it is not disparaging but rather has been wrangled into submission for hundreds of years; only to be used against women and girls as a tool for abuse and means of brutal capitulation. For those who recoil at the thought of the title of this humble chapbook, I invite you to sit and listen/read for a bit. The poems included are but a small journey stitched together to create my life as a mother, daughter, sister, poet, and woman of color. Woman. Cunt.

SOme of it is Muscle Cover

Some of it is Muscle

Poetry by Zachary Kluckman
Available at Amazon for $10.95.
Available at Bookworks ABQ  $10.00


A little about the book:

The poems in this collection are meant to be read from beginning to end. These are poems of endurance, written with the conviction that “we survive” is the thread that connects the body to the spirit, and from that recognition comes an appreciation of the beauty that exists in the simple acts of living. These are poems that celebrate the anvil and the hammer, those things that shape and reshape us.


2 thoughts on “Poetry Collections and Chapbooks

  1. Wow, what a stable of writers and writings!

  2. Impressive. Most impressive.

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