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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Available Now: I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth by Mercedez Holtry

Book ended artfully by two poems (“Dear Donald Trump” and “For Latinos Who Voted for Trump”) that bring much needed attention to the political climate and how the Trump presidency affects her and her people, Mercedez Holtry’s newest publication from Swimming with Elephants Publications is everything you could imagine from the renowned poeta. It, as the title proclaims, is a resistance of performance, blooming like sunflowers stretching to an Albuquerque sunset sky.

Mercedez goes further in speaking not only about the national political climate but also local change and gentrification of her beloved hometown — Albuquerque, New Mexico — in poems like “La Central gets a Makeover” in which she calls out by name former Mayor Berry and the many failings of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) and its continued construction. Woven with a deep woe for being the final generation that might cruise Central Avenue, she takes you on a journey of the Albuquerque she knows and loves.

But there is a softness to this resistance, too. In “You Bring Out the Burqueña in Me,” dedicated to her beloved, she journeys through all the makings of herself and her culture, her love and her home, painting an image that echoes the vulnerability in the poem prior, “The Heat of Summer.” Both veer away from the political undertone of this publication and yet, there is still a softly flowering rebellion in her words. A rebellion of self, of love, of light.

But as with nature, there is darkness behind the light. A persona poem, entitled “La Llorona Speaks,” takes the reader on a shadowed journey into muddy waters of loss, exploring the legend of La Llorona, or The Wailing Woman. Another stunning exploration of her own culture, this particular poem was a hauntingly beautiful read.

As ever, Mercedez does not fail to enlighten and educate with her second collection from Swimming with Elephants, bringing an artfully entwined variety of work.

You can purchase I Bloomed a Resistance from my Mouth on Amazon, along with her first publication, My Blood is Beautiful. And don’t forget to like Mercedez’s artist page on Facebook, and keep a lookout as she heads out for the Blooming Resistance Tour this May (and for inquiries about booking her for a feature, please contact our partners at sugarbookingentertainment@gmail.com).


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my verse, book review by Bill Nevins

Book Review by Bill Nevins

my verse,

a collection of poetry and photography
poetry by Katrina K Guarascio
photography by Shawna Cory

Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014
69 pages, paperback

This book cures mental fascism.

Katrina Guarascio, the beloved Ms. G of Rio Rancho Public Schools’ Cleveland High School was let go by that notorious school administration and she made local and now national headlines. The reason: Guarascio encouraged her students to write creatively and freely. After all, she was hired to teach Creative Writing. But the school district decided that when one of the students updated the Biblical tale of The Loaves and Fishes, that was just too much for their Common Core Standardized Testing curriculum to bear.

So, the RRPS administration in their wisdom demanded that Guarascio either apologize on behalf of her students and promise never to encourage them to be creative again . . . or leave their employ.

Gurascio split. What else could any self respecting teacher who cares for the free minds of her students do?

She refused to bow to the fascist demand that there are some thoughts which cannot be expressed even in writing class. There are some thoughts which cannot even be thought.

The thought, as expressed by her student, that Jesus might actually have tried to help the poor, seems to have been one of those thoughts banned by the troglodytes of the the Rio Rancho Public Schools Administration.

No, Guarascio preferred to breathe the free air of America and to leave the stifling, choking atmosphere of this Christian Taliban school administation. And she encouraged her students, her charges, to fly free too.

They have been flying free. They have flown on Facebook, on television, in print, and beyond, praising their teacher and castigating the mind-numbing thugs who pretend to be school administrators in the school district that Intel Corp built and bought.

Read this book. It is the free, sexy, mind-liberating voice of Katrina K Guarascio, perhaps New Mexico’s finest mind and sharpest poet. Turn to page 23 (“I am not one/to sit and wait/for tides to change”) and see what I mean.

Word Up. Don’t Shoot. Let Us, and Our Children Breathe.

–Bill Nevins

Find my verse, on Amazon.com, Bookworks Albuquerque, or local Swimming with Elephants Events.

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Bill Nevins

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 Heartbreak ridgeCornelian, 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 Nevins hosts second-Wednesday monthly poetry readings at The Range Cafe in Bernalillo, New Mexico. He can be contacted at bill_nevins@yahoo.com and at Bill Nevins on Facebook.

Bill Nevins’ collection of poetry, Heartbreak Ridge, is now available from Swimming with Elephants Publications.


author photo credit: Mark Fischer

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Hurry to Your Local Book Store

CuntBomb Promo 1
For all of you ABQ locals, Swimming with Elephants Publications first two book: Some of it is Muscle by Zachary Kluckman and Cunt.Bomb. by Jessica Helen Lopez are now available at Bookworks Albuquerque.
Some of it is muscle promo 1Swing down there to support local business and your local authors. Thank you Amanda Sutton for making the venture from trunk to shelf so accessible. Hope everyone has a wonderful day.