SwEP Parade

An alphabetical list of author who have published collections through Swimming with Elephants Publications. View their publications under Our Catalog. 


Kevin Barger

Kevin BKevin 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.



bassam (they/them or xe/xim) is a spoken word poet, proud auntie, and settler currently residing on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations peoples (colonially known as “Vancouver, Canada”).

they are the current National Director of Spoken Word Canada, a member of the League of Canadian Poets, and have toured Turtle Island performing spoken word.

bassam earned title of national slam champion at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in 2016 with the Guelph Poetry Slam team, and Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) finalist in 2017.

they are the author of three collections of poetry, two of which released in 2018: ‘bliss in die / unbinging the underglow’ (Swimming with Elephants Publications) and ‘_nil:/per.OS – sepukku|smiles + songs for sarah’ (GenZ Publishing). they were also editor-in-chief and publisher for ‘these pills don’t come in my skin tone’, a spoken word poetry collection exclusively by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) on mental health and illness, released in fall 2017.

a (gender)queer, Jewish person of Middle-Eastern descent and a longtime sufferer of body dysmorphia, bipolar and eating disorders, bassam believes in radical kindness as resistance to colonization, that there is no equity or peace without justice, and that intersectionality is vital in the struggle against kyriarchy.

Pic pick three

Emily Bjustrom

Emily Bjustrom is a poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She draws her inspiration from her environment and the people around her. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she studied Literature. You can find more of her work at http://ebquestionr.tumblr.com

Pick up Emily’s first chapbook Loved Always Tomorrow at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


60714833_2337437056517565_6444867782227001344_nBenjamin Bormann

Benjamin Bormann has been writing and sharing their work, and co-producing shows for others to share their own, in Albuquerque, NM’s poetry and performance communities for almost 15 years.

They have had poems appear in the Fixed & Free Anthology vol. 1, SWEP’s inaugural Catching Calliope anthology, and Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection, as well as in multiple issues of the UNM medical school’s arts journal Medical Muse.

Shorn is their debut collection. It is available on Amazon and other major distributors.


MattMatthew Brown

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 both a Hispanic and African American perspective.

Matthew Brown’s latest chapbook Verbrennen is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookworks Albuquerque via Swimming with Elephants Publications.


Courtney A Butler

Courtney Butler graduated from St. Andrew’s University in North Carolina with degrees in English and Creative Writing. She earned her master’s in Creative and Media Writing from the University of Swansea in Wales. Now, she works as an editor by day, does special effects makeup and writing at night. Her first book of poetry, Season for Season, and her first anthology, Gravity Hill: Volume III, are available at St. Andrew’s University Press. Her second book of poetry, Wild Horses, is available through Swimming with Elephants Publications, as well as an upcoming anthology, Light as a Feather. In 2019, she will be working on her fantasy/horror novella series for Corbeau Media. Learn more at TheCourtRose and Un Bel Mondo.


Dominique Christina

DC Bio PicDominique Christina is a mother, an educator and an agitator born and raised in Denver, Colorado 40 years ago. She holds two Masters degrees in English Literature and Education respectively. A licensed educator, Dominique taught in the Denver and Aurora Public school systems in Colorado for ten years, directed college prep programs and taught in an adjunct capacity at Community College of Aurora and Metropolitan State University of Denver. She believes that words make worlds. In the slam world (competitive poetry) Dominique began in 2011. That same year she won the National Poetry Slam Championship. In 2012 she won the Women of the World Slam Championship. She won it again in 2014. She’s the only person to win that honor twice.

She is a Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute fellow. Her work has appeared on TV One’s season 3 Verses and Flow show. She has performed with Cornel West and was an invited guest to Washington DC to read her poem “Emmett Till” for the Till family and the parents of Trayvon Martin, a young man who was killed in Sanford, Florida. Her first book of poetry, The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm, was published by Penmanship Books 2014. Her second book, a collection of poetry, essays, and writing prompts, is set for publication in October 2015 by Sounds True Publishing. Her work also appears in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and magazines and has been featured in Huffington Post and Upworthy several times.

Dominique’s family was critical in the civil rights movement. Her aunt Carlotta Walls-Lanier was one of nine students to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. Her grandfather was a shortstop, Hall of Fame baseball player for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues before baseball was integrated. When he left, Jackie Robinson, who would later go on to integrate baseball, took his place. Dominique’s mother, Professor Jackie Benton, is named for Jackie Robinson. She is mother to four wildly expressive children who never use inside voices…ever. But they are the raw material of possible and give her plenty of reasons to praise.


Kai Coggin


Kai Coggin is a poet and the author of PERISCOPE HEART, her stunning debut collection released by Swimming with Elephants Publications, (2014).  Her second full-length collection is entitled Wingspan, a deeper dive into the soul and sound of this woman, this activist, this lover, this spirit.  Wingspan was released on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, by Golden Dragonfly Press.  2017 brings the poet off the page into sound with the much anticipated release of her debut spoken world album SILHOUETTE.

Kai was born Kimberly Katherine Coggin on New Year’s Day 1980 in Bangkok, Thailand.  She was raised in Southwest Houston (Alief), and is currently a happy blip in the 3-million-acre Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. 

Before transitioning to a career in writing, Kai was first a 9th and 10th grade English teacher, who took her students outside for poetry and drum circles on  the lawn, and built a life-size balcony, and meter-stick-aluminum-foil-wrapped swords in her classroom for Romeo and Juliet.  People wondered about her methods… but the students learned… and loved her.  She convinced her students of the power of their own writing with a poetry and persuasive writing project that culminated with a visit from the internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros.

Kai believes that learning  is a personal journey for everyone, that cannot be constricted and confined by the classifications and labels of standardized testing.  She strives to, someday, help change the paradigm of education as a whole.  In Houston, despite (or because of) her radical methods, she was recognized as Teacher of the YearDistrict Secondary Teacher of the Year, and competed for Regional Teacher of the Year against 5, out of 85,000 teachers.

Presently, with her focus shifted more towards poetry, Kai is a specializedTeaching Artist of Creative Writing, on the Arts in Education Roster for theArkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning for the Arts. She also teaches a community adult creative writing class at Emergent Arts called Words & Wine.

Kai holds a Bachelor of Arts in Poetry and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University, and an honorary degree from the school of Hard Knocks.  She writes poems of love, spirituality, the striving of the soul, feminism, race, sexuality, global injustice, metaphysics, and beauty.  Everything that she writes is infused with Heart and Light.

Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Lavender Review, Broad!, The Tattooed Buddha, Split This Rock, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk Monkeys, Snapdragon, ANIMA, Elephant Journal, and many other literary journals and anthologies.  Her poetry has recently been nominated twice for The Pushcart Prize, as well as  Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016.

Kai knows that words hold the potential to create monumental and global change, and she uses her words like a sword of Beauty.  She can be found most Wednesdays at a local venue, reading her poems into an open mic, hoping the wind carries her words out to the world.


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.


LoriLori DeSanti

Lori DeSanti graduated with her MFA Degree in Poetry from Southern Connecticut State University in 2014. She’s the recipient of the 2014 William Kloefkorn Award.

Her work has been anthologized in Wising Up Press’ 2015 Anthology, “Siblings: Our First Macrocosm”, and the 2014 Writer’s Digest “Poem Your Heart Out Anthology”.

She is the feature poet at Erbacce Press for October 2015.   Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Journal, Mouse Tales Press, Adanna, Drunk Monkeys, East Coast Literary Review, Winter Tangerine Review, Ekphrasis and elsewhere.

Website: loridesantipoetry.wordpress.com


Sean William Dever

I've Been Canceling


Sean William Dever is a Boston-based poet and educator currently in his last year of his MFA in Creative Writing with a focus in Poetry at Emerson College. He teaches writing at Emerson and Boston Architectural College. In addition, he also works as a Professional ESL Tutor at Northeastern University. He has recently been published by Unearthed Literary Magazine, Coffin Bell Literary Magazine, Fearsome Critters Literary Magazine, and The Merrimack Review among others.  




SaraEve Fermin

SaraEve Fermin (she/her) is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from northeast New Jersey.  A 2015 Best of the Net nominee, she has performed for both local and national events, including the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles 2015 Care and Cure Benefit to End Epilepsy in Children and as a reader for Great Weather for MEDIA at the 2016 NYC Poetry Festival on Governors Island.  You might have met her volunteering at various national poetry slams.  A Contributing Editor for Words Dance Magazine and Book Reviewer at Swimming with Elephants Publishing, her work can be found or is forthcoming in GERM Magazine, Ink and Nebula, Rising Phoenix Press, the Great Weather for MEDIA anthology The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker, and the Beech Street Review, among others.  Her first full length poetry anthology, You Must Be This Tall to Ride, was published by Swimming with Elephants Publishing in 2016 and her follow up, View from the Top of the Ferris Wheel, was publish by Clare Songbird Publishing House in 2017. Trauma Carnival was released in spring of 2019.

SaraEve believes in the power of foxes, hair dye and self-publishing.
She loves Instagram and follows back: @SaraEve41


Wil Gibson

WilWil Gibson was born from a good idea and a bottle of bourbon and raised in some of the poorest communities in northern Illinois and eastern Arkansas. He has had work appear with Midwestern Gothic, Radius, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Electric Cereal (among others), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 2015. He would like to talk to you for hours on end about lighthouses and random other things. (also, in the interest of full disclosure, he has already started smoking again) He currently lives in California, but the locals call it Jefferson.


Manuel González

Mannie PicManuel González is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “My Word is My Power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets.

Manuel teaches workshops on self-expression and poetry in high schools and youth detention centers. He also works with an art therapist to help incarcerated young men express them-selves. He was also one of the coaches and mentors for the Santa Fe High Poetry Slam team from 2006-2010. Manuel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His mother’s family is from Barelas. His father’s family is from a small town in Northern New Mexico called Anton Chico, and his father was the lead singer of the band Manny and the Casanovas. He identifies himself as being Chicano. The history, culture, and spirituality of his people are among his inspirations.

His connection to his culture helps him connect to his students. Manuel teaches poetry as a means for self-expression. Looking within oneself and examining ones roots is the essence of the type of poetry he works with emotions, feelings, experiences, and prose in an historical and cultural context is the goal of his workshops. Self esteem, finding something to say, figuring out how to say it eloquently, and letting your voice be heard are just some of the benchmarks in Manuel’s workshop. Manuel resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and children.

For information on booking a workshop and/or performance, please send inquiries to: xicanopoet@yahoo.com.


Sarita Sol Gonzalez

Sarita Sol Gonzalez is a Performance Poet and fifth grader from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Writing her first poem when she was in second grade, Sarita is one of the youngest writers in the Albuquerque poetry community. Her poetry reflects her love of her community and passion for her culture. She has been published in various anthologies including Kids With Causes: A Poetry Anthology of Youth Voices and Las Palabras: Mothers and Daughters (Swimming With Elephants Publications). She has also self-published a chapbook titled Solita: Ancestors, Familia, and Mi Corazon. Sarita was a featured speaker at Albuquerque TEDxYouth 2015, speaking on the role poetry plays in her life and her community. In April of 2016, Sarita and Elena Medina,12, had the honor of being asked by the US Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Hererra, to perform with him at the ceremony for the ending/reinstating of his Laureateship at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Sarita has also shared the stage with many amazing poets including poetry duo Sister Outsider (Denice Frohman and Dominique Christina), Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez, New Mexico State Centennial Poet Levi Romero, and many others from Albuquerque’s vibrant poetry community.


60334430_700231480380146_6146960127497863168_nAbigayle Goldstein

Abigayle Goldstein is an Albuquerque native with a passion for literature and a love of learning. She is currently completing an MA in secondary education to begin teaching high school English language arts. She has published multiple small works in University of New Mexico publications Scribendi (2018) and Conceptions Southwest (2017/2018).

Her debut title, Thalassophile, was published in spring of 2019 and she is currently working on a new poetry project as a hobby in addition to her career.

Thalassophile is available for order through Amazon and other major distributors; New Mexico locals can also pick up a copy at Title Wave Books.


Christopher Grillo

Christopher Grillo is the author of Heroes’ Tunnel (Anaphora Literary Press, 2015). His poems appear in Drunk Monkeys, Sport Literate, Biline, Spry, Aethlon, and more. Grillo is a graduate of the University of New Haven where he played strong safety for the Chargers, and of Southern Connecticut State University’s MFA program. He lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut as an 8th grade language arts teacher and moonlights as an assistant football coach at his high school alma mater.



flip-2Gigi Bella

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.

Her first full length publication, entitled 22, was released from Swimming with Elephants Publications in January 2017. Pick up a copy today and don’t forget to leave a review on the Amazon page.

Click here to order today!


Katrina K Guarascio

sparrowKatrina K Guarascio is a writer and teacher living in Albuquerque, NM. As an active member of the poetry community, she has worked as an editor for various literary magazines and small presses, along with hosting poetry workshops and producing various poetry performances, including The Second Saturday Slam, Rio Rancho’s only monthly Poetry Slam and Open Mic.

As an educator, her focus resides in bringing poetry into the classroom and making it accessible to students. Guarascio sponsors the Cleveland High School Poetry Community, coaches a youth Slam Team, and produces a yearly literary magazine of student poetry.

Along with many small press and e-zine publications, she is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Hazy Expressions and More Fire than Sun, and three book length publications entitled September, the fall of a sparrow, and my verse.

Find these publications and many others by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC on Amazon.


Kat Heatherington

Kat Heatherington is a queer ecofeminist poet, sometime artist, pagan, and organic gardener.    She has been living in Albuquerque since 1998, when she moved here to earn a Master’s in English at UNM.

In 2007 she collaborated with a group of three other unrelated adults to buy land in the Rio Grande Valley and form Sunflower River intentional community, sunflowerriver.org.  Ten years and many life lessons later, Sunflower River is still going strong, and still providing plenty of material to write poems about.

Kat’s work primarily addresses the interstices of human relationships and the natural world.  She has several self-published chapbooks, available from the author at yarrow@sunflowerriver.org.  Her work can be read at https://sometimesaparticle.org.


Brian Hendrickson

Hendrickson Bio PicBrian Hendrickson’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a range of publications, including Indiana Review,North Carolina Literary Review, and New York Quarterly.

For his poetry Brian has been nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award, recognized as a 2013 finalist forSmartish Pace’s Erskine J. Poetry Prize, and awarded a 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for appearing in Beatlick Press’ La Llarona anthology.

Since earning an MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Brian has taught and tutored writing at colleges and correctional facilities in Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, and now New Mexico, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing. Brian’s scholarship focuses on the role of writing in social movements and student activism.

Brian Henrickson’s collection of poetry, entitled Of Children / And Other Poor Swimmers, will be available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in September 2014 and will be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other on line distributors, as well as local bookstores.


Jack Hirschman

Jack HirshmanJack Hirschman (b. NYC, 1933) is the emeritus 4th Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco (2006-2009). He has published or edited more than 100 books of poetry and essays, including translations from ten languages: Mayakovski (Russian), Neruda (Spanish), Artaud (French), Lombardo (Italian), Celan (German), Laraque (Haitian), Gjakova (Albanian), Gogou (Greek), Glik (Yiddish) and Nwadike (Swedish), among many others.

His own major work is The Arcanes, (2006) published by Multimedia Edizioni of Salerno, Italy in the American language in which the two Arcanes in this book appear. It is a 1,000 page book of his longer poems, which he calls Arcanes, and a 2nd massive volume of more than 150 new Arcanes are scheduled to be published by the same publisher in 2015.

He is a founding member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade of San Francisco, and the World Poetry Movement in Medellin, Colombia.

Passion, Provocation and Prophecy (Swimming with Elephants Publications 2015)  serves as an ode to Pier Paulo Pasolini. 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.

BIO PICMercedez Holtry

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.


Jennifer E. Hudgens

Jennifer E. Hudgens was born and raised in Oklahoma City. She has always danced to the beat of her own drummer, just ask her mom. Using poetry as a means of expression and survival, Jennifer lives poetry. She watches the sky the way most people watch television. Jennifer is terrified of clowns, horses, and animatronic toys. That damned Snuggle bear is secretly trying to steal souls.

This is Jennifer’s first full collection of poems. She has plans to release a couple poetry chapbooks and her first novel in 2016. Jennifer promises the novel is quite murdery. She is also working to bring more diversity and light to the amazingly talented poets in the Oklahoma Poetry Community.

Jennifer is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma with plans to teach high school students after graduation. She teaches creative writing classes for the Oklahoma City Arts Council and is a pretty rad substitute teacher.

Jen genuinely hopes you like her poems. If you don’t, that’s okay too.

For more information on the author:







Zachary Kluckman

262710_10200154892465990_1862870133_nA performance poet since 2006, Zachary Kluckman has been writing poetry for 25 years. He is a member of two consecutive Albuquerque National Poetry Slam Teams and has represented the city at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

A Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of the Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize, his work appears in print globally in such publications as the New York Quarterly and Cutthroat, as well as numerous anthologies. Featured on over 500 radio stations, with appearances on many of the nation’s most notorious stages, he is an accomplished spoken word artist. He serves as the Spoken Word Editor of the Pedestal. Twice recognized for making world history, he is the creator of the Slam Poet Laureate Program and an organizer for the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, the largest poetry reading in history.

His first collection of poems, Animals In Our Flesh, was published in 2012 by Red Mountain Press. He has a  collection titled, The Curious Circus, from Uncola Press. An activist and youth advocate, he lives in New Mexico with his four children.

Zachary Kluckman’s collection of poetry entitled, Some of it is Muscle, is the first publication offered from Swimming with Elephants Publications.

Paulie Lipman

Paulie Lipman is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in the anthology ‘We Will Be Shelter’ (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache).

*photo credit to Elnora Fuentes


Jessica Helen Lopez

JessicaRecently named one of 30 Poets in their 30’s to watch by MUZZLE magazine, Jessica Helen Lopez is a nationally recognized award-winning slam poet, and holds the title of 2012 and 2014 Women of the World (WOW) City of ABQ Champion.

She’s also a member of the Macondo Foundation. Founded by Sandra Cisneros, it is an association of socially engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community.

Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011) made the Southwest Book of the Year reading list and was also awarded the Zia Book Award presented by NM Women Press. Her other collections are Cunt. Bomb. (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014) and The Language of Bleeding (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2015), a bilingual release of poems for Festival Internacional de Poesia de Granada, Nicaragua. Her latest collection with Swimming With Elephants Publications, Provocateur, was released in spring of 2019.

She is the founder of La Palabra – The Word is a Woman collective created for and by women and gender-identified women. Lopez is a Ted Talk speaker alum.

You may find some of Lopez’s work at these sites –LaPalabra.abqnorthwest.com, thebakerypoetry.com, and asusjournal.org.

Her work has been anthologized in A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Slam Scene (UNM Press), Earth Ships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection (NM Book Award Finalist), Tandem Lit Slam (San Francisco), Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, SLAB Literary Magazine and the upcoming Courage Anthology: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (Write Bloody Press).


Kristian Ashley Macaron

Originally from Albuquerque, NM where she attended the University of New Mexico, Kristian received her MFA from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and thus melded her love for the colorful Southwest with the stunning New England coast. Kristian’s first poetry chapbook, Storm, was released in July 2015 from Swimming With Elephants Publications in Albuquerque, NM. Her other publications of fiction and poetry are published in The Winter Tangerine Review, Philadelphia Stories, Ginosko Literary Journal, Medusa’s Laugh Press, Minute Magazine, and forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine. She has featured at Chatter Albuquerque, Reading New Mexico (UNM), and the podcasts “Vessels and Voids” and “Pen & Poet”. Kristian is a co-founding editor at the literary journal the Manzano Mountain Review and a writer at Brewers Crew Magazine. She is part-time faculty at the University of New Mexico-Valencia branch campus. Her website is: Kristianmacaron.com


Gina Marselle

1 headshot for bookGina 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).

Her first collection of work, A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography has been published by Swimming With Elephants Publications (2015).


Sarah Menefee

San Francisco poet Sarah Menefee, originally from Reno, Nevada, is a homeless and poor people’s rights activist, a founding member of the San Francisco Union of the Homeless, Homes Not Jails, the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, the Revolutionary Poet’s Brigade, and “First they came for the homeless.” Her poetry collections include I’m Not Thousandfurs, The Blood About the Heart, Human Star, In Your Fish Helmet, and Stella Umana (Italian & English), and various chapbooks. She has worked in hospitals, casinos, bars, day care centers, offices, and bookstores, and has taught poetry in homeless shelters, half-way houses and at Occupy (Occupy Your Visions). She is retired and works part-time as an artist’s model.


Manuel (MJR) Montoya

Manuel (MJR) Montoya, was born and raised in Mora, New Mexico.  He is a professor at the University of New Mexico.  He blends studies of philosophy and literature with studies of international relations, economics and management to understand the evolution of the global political economy.  He received his undergraduate degree at UNM, with graduate schooling from New York University, Oxford University, and Emory University.  He is engaged in community work to support the creative economy, he is dedicated to work that eliminates child exploitation worldwide, and he is passionate about handmade craft – he has been an amateur watchmaker for 12 years.  He has published poetry and short stories in various national publications.


Niccolea M. Nance

nicNiccolea Miouo Nance is a poetartistamateur fire-spinner, and soon to be world traveler via sailboat. Niccolea’s published work, which she explains is drawn from personal life experiences and the stories of those closest to her, can be found in Borderline, a cutting-edge personapoetry journal and Canyon Voices, an Arizona State University journal for emerging writers.

She also has two books published on Amazon – her self-published The Words I Hold, and the charity project For Those Who Outlast Their Pain released by Swimming With Elephants Publications (the proceeds above printing and shipping will go to organizations that help women and sexual assault survivors).

You can read more about Niccolea on her web site: niccoleamnance.com


 Bill Nevins

Bill Nevins grew up Irish Catholic near and in New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. He moved to northern New England and raised his three children, one of whom, Special Forces SFC Liam Nevins, died in combat in Afghanistan in 2013. Bill has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1996.

His poetry has been published in Malpaís Review, Green Left Weekly, The Rag, Central Avenue, Sage Trail, Adobe Walls, Más Tequila Review, Special Forces Charitable Trust online, Maple Leaf Rag II, The Cornelian, KUMISS, and other publications. His journalism is found in The Guardian, Forward Motion, Z Magazine, RootsWorld, Hyper Active, Trend of Santa Fe, EcoSource, LOGOS, Thirsty Ear, ABQ ARTS, Local iQ, TM Transmission, The Celtic Connection, Irish American News, An Scathan/Celtic Mirror and other journals.

Bill continues to perform at Voices of the Barrio, Fixed and Free, Jules Poetry Playhouse, Sunday Chatter and other Albuquerque poetry gatherings. He has recently performed at SOMOS in Taos, NM and The Maple Leaf Readings in New Orleans.

Bill has retired from teaching and divides his time between homes in the towns of Albuquerque and Black Lake, New Mexico, and traveling.

Also, he continues to write articles for www.nodepression.com, www.elbowroomnm.com, www.rootsworld.com, http://www.logosjournal.com and other publications. He can be contacted at bill_nevins@yahoo.com and at Bill Nevins on Facebook.


Aja Oishi

Aja Oishi lives in northern New Mexico. Her writing draws from ecology, anthropology, and the years she spent in Spain, Japan, and New Zealand. She revels in the uncaged world and makes a living (and a life) by fighting for prisoners as an appellate public defender. This is her first collection of poetry.




Mary Oishi

Mary Oishi has two poetic voices: one stark and simple like that of her Japanese ancestors, and one that echoes the rhythms of preachers from her upbringing by her American father’s fundamentalist relatives. Both voices sing her songs of truth and social justice. She is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me (2011) and is one of twelve U.S. poets in 12 Poetas: Antologia De Nuevos Poetas Estadounidenses (2017), a project of the Mexican Ministry of Culture. Her poems have appeared in Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, Harwood Anthology, Sinister Wisdom, and other print and digital publications. Oishi is a public radio personality since 1996, most at KUNM-FM Albuquerque, where she hosts The Blues Show.


Nika Ann Rasco

Loved a WriterNika Ann is a writer. She enjoys reading poetry out loud to her cat, playing tag with the snooze button on her alarm clock, and drinking beers while watching Austin City Limits. She is not known for taking author bios very seriously.

Nika Ann keeps a blogsite by the name of Chasing Rabbits which she invites visitors to shift though until they find something they like: nikarasco.wordpress.com.

She posts a poem every day, regardless of occasion, mood, or relevance. She mostly enjoys writing that only makes sense to her which is an incredibly selfish act and leaves her mostly shunned from the publishing world.

But she doesn’t really care about that, after all we all but walking shadows; poor players that strut and fret upon the stage, and then are heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Or something profound that some dead guy said once…

Nika Ann also enjoys using ellipses in random places and lifting quotes from great writers to use as inside jokes within her biographies and daily conversations. She is confident the right people will get the reference.

Oh, and she loves you madly.


DannyDanielle Smith

“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.

R.B Warren

Litanies Not AdoptedBob Warren is without credentials of any kind. He never graduated from anything, never received a diploma or certificate of completion from any sort of institution of either higher or lower learning.

At the age of thirteen, he stole all of his school records and spent that school year teaching himself at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He quit school at fifteen. At seventeen, he took part in his first civil rights march. At twenty-one, he was elected Unit Steward for the Operating Engineers.

Two decades later in Houston, he went to work at a poverty church. His jobs were to lead morning prayers and to beg food for 125 to 150 families a week. He was for nine years the Associate Director for the Albuquerque Storehouse. Subsequent to that, he was Resource Director for Habitat for Humanity in Valencia County.

He is married to Barbara Warren who came to the marriage with five kids who have somehow become 19 grandkids and 18 great-grandkids.

Pick up Litanies Not Adopted, Warren’s first collection of poetry, from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


Beau Williams

Beau Williams is a fairly optimistic poet based out of Portland Maine. He co-runs a weekly poetry class at Sweetser Academy and facilitates workshops at high schools and colleges around the New England area. His work has been published in numerous poetry websites and journals.

Beau has performed internationally and nationally both as a solo artist and with the performance poetry collectives Uncomfortable Laughter and GUYSLIKEYOU. He was the Grand Slam Champion at Port Veritas in 2014 and was the Artist in Residence at Burren College in Ballyvaughan, Ireland in January of 2017. Beau’s book, Rumham, is available for purchase on Amazon.com.


Liza Wolf-Francis

Liza Wolff-FraLizaHeadShotncis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Edge, Twenty, unseenfiction.com, Border Senses, and on various blogs. As a social worker, she has worked with Spanish speaking immigrant populations for twenty years. She wrote the play “Border Rising” from interviews with undocumented Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Albuquerque, NM.

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