News: Wrapping Up 2020

In is no secret that this has been a difficult year for our small press. We have struggled over the last several months to complete the contracts from the beginning of the year, and are happy to say with the publication of Unlocked Poetry, we have fulfilled our obligations.

Now that we are caught up with all of our outstanding projects, we will be suspending our publications for the undeterminable future. We have already canceled our Weekly Write and this year’s Open Call for Poetry Chapbooks. I would very much like to say we will be back next year, but I am hesitant to make any promises at the time being.

If you are one of our authors, we want to remind you that according to your contract you retain all the rights to your work and if you choose to take work previously published by Swimming with Elephants Publications and publish it elsewhere, we will wish you the very best of luck in your endeavor. If you are interested in retiring your publication from SwEP to seek publication elsewhere, please send us an email and we can conclude the production of your work. I assure you, there will be no hard feelings on our end.

As I have previously stated, the publication of chapbooks is a luxury and not a priority in the world we are currently trying to navigate. I would much rather put the press to rest than attempt to conjure new publications that of a lower quality and/or are not meeting the needs of our authors and community.

We will know early in 2021 if our doors will be shut for good and what the outlook will be.

Currently, all our publications are still for sale through the major book distributors, but as always, we encourage readers to seek their purchases from independent bookstores or from the authors themselves.

We continue our affiliation with Bookworks Albuquerque and encourage our readers to purchase our latest releases through Bookworks or other independent Bookstores.

Find our complete catalog here:

Be safe and be well!

Weekly Write: “Upon this Altar” by Gina Marselle

Upon this Altar

Upon this altar for healing,
I place the morning sun with prayers blessed
by my blue glass beads rosary.

Upon this altar for healing,
I place morning meditations—
breath exhales anxieties.

Upon this altar I place time.
The yellow tinged fall morning doesn’t wait,
as the hour passes my son wakes.
He begins his list of questions,
his almost five-year-old self doesn’t rest,
and his first question, “Is today a school day?”

Upon this altar I place husband’s snores,
thankful he is safe, loved, healing—a recovering alcoholic.

Upon this altar of healing,
I place my 17-year-old daughter’s ballet shoes,
her dreams to become a pediatrician or a ballerina.

Upon this altar I place newly learned guitar chords A and E,
sore fingers and encouragement. I place this dream of playing Bach
on classical guitar into reality.

Upon this altar for healing,
I place prayers that this stabbing pain I feel in my gut
will leave. Will find remission. Upon this altar I pray that
this newly diagnosed autoimmune disease will not win.
It is invisible to everyone, but my joints, eyes, intestines are attacked.
How do I fight something unpredictable like Mount Saint Helens erupting?

Upon this altar for healing I place hope
blooming with vibrant colors of teal and opal and red—
for healing breath, life and love.

Upon this altar of healing, I baptize water
from the Pacific ocean—purify it, drench this brittle desert land
into soulful breath, healing body.

Upon this altar, I leave my animal brain that wants to flee, fight, and freeze
for my human brain that reasons, plans, and processes and move from just surviving to mindfully LIVING. Before my autoimmune disease, I took for granted sips of my espresso, dark chocolate, salad drenched in blue cheese dressing, a simple pasta dinner—now food is my enemy. For three months now, a simple diet of rice, broth, bananas—
as I battle for health. All I drink is water. It sustains me. It gives me life. It is beautiful, truly. I’m here. I’m given a chance to fight, survive, live.

Upon this alter for healing,
I place my prayer, my thanksgiving, and my beating heart.

© Gina Marselle
Inspired by a Writing Workshop with Poet Jessica Helen Lopez
House on the Corner Worshop

Gina Marselle resides in New Mexico with her family. She’s a high school teacher, poet, and photographer. She has a full length published book titled, A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography (SwEP, 2015). Please find more information about Gina’s work at Follow her on Instagram @gigirebel.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Now Available: “Sell Me Insanity” by Marcial Delgado

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of “Sell Me Insanity,’ a chapbook of poetry by Marcial Delgado.

“The brujo knows that magic is not a series of complex alchemical spells or mathematical formulas, but comes from the soil, from the people around him, from the roots and connections to the earth he can draw on. This is what Marcial Delgado does with this collection of poetry. He drinks deep from the wellspring of his own history, and the ties that bind him to his community, and his people. These poems breathe with a rare magic that is at once soft spoken and fierce. This is a wonderful collection of poems from one of New Mexico’s most authentic voices.”

-Zachary Kluckman

Join Marcial this Saturday, June 22 at El Chante Casa de Cultura for the “Voices Of The Barrio: Sell Me Insanity Book Release.” This will be an open mic event so please bring a poem to share or just come and listen. There will also be a potluck. This is a free event and all are welcome.

Marcial will have copies for sale at the release, but his book is also currently available through most major distributors. Find it on by clicking here and it can be Primed to you by Saturday for the event.

Gold Writing Workshop May 26

Join Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC and StrangeFlock Gallery for the  a new series of Writing Workshops scheduled for the last Sunday of each month.

The StrangeFlock Gallery will be open from 12pm – 4pm.  Writers of all genres are invited to be inspired by the monthly artwork in the gallery by completing Ekphrastic Writing Prompts or partake in a more constructed workshop hosted by local and national guest writers. The structured writing workshop taking place between the hours of 1pm – 3pm.

Suggestion donation for the workshop is 5$ and can be made in cash at the time of the workshop or through Paypal by clicking here. All proceeds will be split between the workshop guest host and the Gallery. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Our guest workshop host for May 26th will be Katrina K Guarascio who will talk about finding inspiration and story with ekphrastic writing. She has three writing prompts prepared which writers of all genres can use,

The featured artwork for the month of May is a group conglomeration called Odd Birds and includes four different artists with a variety of subjects and mediums.


Now Available: Shorn by Benjamin Bormann

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of Shorn: apologies & vows, a chapbook of poetry by Benjamin Bormann.
“I loved this collection from the title onward, and the spirituality connected me instantly. I am in metaphor heaven. I think the speaker is whispering these poems to me. I have my eyes closed and revel in the metaphor and imagery, in simple, quiet words and lines. I am spiritual and I feel some of the poems are spiritual for me. Perfect words placed in exact space. Strong syntax and enjambment. Love lines like this:
“The empty lung prayers
sent off when words become
foreign. The long drawn
timeline whittled
into a wisp, a joke, the crush
of understanding just how little
potential we were ever allowed
to show.”
As the theme of loneliness emerges, again, this is very applicable and connectable to any person. I ache with love for this collection. The entire collection is ready to print. Time and energy went into this to create a beautiful collection to test time to the fullest. “
Review by Gina Marselle

Join Benjamin Bormann for the release of the publication on April 27, 2019 from 11-12pm at the Title Wave Book Revised (2318 Wisconsin St NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110).

This is a free event.

Copies of the publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Order your copy of Shorn: apologies & vows today from Amazon or other major book distributors.

New Release: Thalassophile by Abigayle Goldstein

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of Thalassophile: a chapbook of poetry by Abigayle Goldstein.

thalassophile, (n.) lover of the sea

With a collection as breathtaking as a calm beach side view, and as striking as a storm at sea, Abigayle Goldstein has perfected the art of this modern-era “diary/dictionary entry” style of writing. From the table of contents, which reads as an introductory poem itself, and onward through each “definition” that follows, there is an undeniable ocean’s flow in the progress of this collection. A story that paints a vivid picture: of tumultuous change, like crashing waves, and perhaps…the eventual calm, and the acceptance of the constant ebb and flow of the sea within us. This collection awakened a new love for the seas of change for me, and I hope it speaks to the thalassophile in each reader. And perhaps in reading, you will find a renewed and empowered love of self.

This beautiful collection, featuring cover art Sima Ijadi, is the first release by Goldstein.

Join Abigayle Goldstein for the release of the publication on April 27, 2019 from 11-12pm at the Title Wave Book Revised (2318 Wisconsin St NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110).

This is a free event.

Copies of the publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Order your copy of Thalassophile today from Amazon or other major book distributors.