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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Welcome New Author

KristianKristian Ashley Macaron writes about pirates, whales, wolves, folktales, deserts, volcanoes, hurricanes, planets, and her life, of course, in which adventure is constant. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she received her MFA from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and thus melded her love for the colorful Southwest with the stunning New England coast.

Her fiction has appeared in The Winter Tangerine Review volume 3 and Lightning Cake Journal. She is a staff writer for online journal The Bellows American Review. Her poetry has been published online in Philadelphia Stories and was performed on stage at the University of New Mexico in the 2008 production of “Full Frontal Poetry.”

She has taught scriptwriting at the Emerson College Pre-College Creative Writers’ Workshop, and is currently part-time English faculty at the University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus.

Macaron’s chapbook, Storm, is now available via our on line distributors. Upcoming releases and events will be posted.

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Now Available: …but my friends call me Burque

Burque…but my friends call my Burque
Poetry by Manuel Gonzalez
Available at Amazon and Createspace for $10.95.
Available at SwEP events at discount pricing.

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.

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Manuel González

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.

BurqueHis 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.

Manuel’s publication: …but my friends call me Burque, is now available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

“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.”

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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