Happy New Year from Swimming with Elephants Publications

We want to start by thanking everyone for all their support over the years. As we enter year seven of Swimming with Elephants Publications, it is amazing to see how what started as a small chapbook publication agent has bloomed to be the publisher of close to 100 publications supporting authors from all over the world.

As you know, this is a not for profit venture, which means that the resources and time spent making each publication is undertaken without charge. We sustain our business model through the sales of our anthologies and the reimbursement of the first 25 internet sales, along with the occasional submission fee. We are a fragile beast, but at this point we are persisting and that wouldn’t be happening without the hard work of our authors and supporters.

Thank you to our authors for having faith in our little sideshow and allowing us to spread your words in print. Thank you to our supporters and readers, who continue to pick up new SwEP titles and get to know our new authors.

What’s New?

We have become an official affiliate of Bookworks Albuquerque, a local, independent bookstore. Bookworks has always been a great supporter of Swimming with Elephants Publications. Not only do they carry our books on their shelves and website, they have hosted several events and releases for Swimming with Elephants Publications authors over the years. We encourage everyone who wishes to purchase a title online, to do so through Bookworks Albuquerque. By doing so, you are supporting not only Swimming with Elephants Publications but our local independent bookstore. Shop small. Support Local.

Another collaboration which has occurred over the past year, has been with NMTESOL and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). Over the past year we have been working with the ESL Program (English as Second Language) at CNM to produce two publications created by ESL students and the ESL Club, Open Language. We are excited to share the voices of these students who might otherwise have been unable to express themselves. We look forward to more collaborations with the ESL community in 2020.

Time to Get to Work

January of 2020 is already a busy time. We are currently working on creating author statements which will be sent out by the end of the month. If you are an active SwEP Author and do not receive a statement by the end of January, please email us. You must reply to your author statement to remain an active SwEP author and to receive any available royalties for 2019.

This month also has us busy with selecting manuscripts from the Open Call for publication in 2020. Although our Open Call judges will select three manuscripts for publication, all submissions are still considered as our 2020 publication calendar is created. Please stay tuned to our website and Facebook page to get a look at this year’s publications as soon as they are announced.

Speaking of publications and submissions, Swimming with Elephants Publications has made an important change. Beginning in October 2019, submissions for chapbooks and poetry collections will only be accepted through the fall submission Open Call. We no longer have the ability to put together last minute collections or begin midyear projects. If you or someone you know would like to submit a manuscript, the next Open Call for submissions will be in October 2020.

Many of our authors have projects in the works and are continuing to promote their publications and their work. Keep your eye on the website and the Facebook page for the announcements of tours and shows in 2020!

New Releases from 2019

(in no significant order)

Sad Bastard Soundtrack
By Paulie Lipman

By Sarah Menefee

Immigrant Memories & Poetic Ambitions
By Laura Jijon

Intersex, Truth and Spirituality
By Maria Sanchez

Trumpet Call: A Swimming with Elephants Anthology
By Maxine Peseke

OM Boy
By Manuel González

Among God & Other Drugs
By Matthew Brown

Belly Up Rosehip
By Tyler Dettloff

Sell Me Insanity
By Marcial Delgado

I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with my Psychiatrist for Two Years Now
By Sean William Dever

disaster in die / an overdose sunrise
By bassam

Small World: Central New Mexico Community College
By Yueh Ni Lin

Shorn: apologies & vows
By Benjamin Bormann

By Jessica Helen Lopez

Trauma Carnival
By SaraEve Fermin

Light as a Feather: An Anthology of Resilience
By Courtney Butler

Thalassophile: a chapbook of poetry
By Abigayle Goldstein

Click here to see the full Swimming with Elephants Publications Catalog.

Thank you for reading and for being a part of our Parade! Have a wonderful 2020!


Kat Crespin & Maxine Peseke

Light as a Feather: an anthology of resilience Now Available

Now Available from Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC

Light as a Feather: an anthology of resilience

This collection differs from our first edition of Light as a Feather in that it focuses solely and specifically on eating disorders. We have carried over some of the previous works as well as incorporated many new stories and poems reflecting issues of body dysmorphia, food addiction, and other ailments which fall into the category of eating disorders.

If you have suffered from an eating disorder or know someone who has a disorder, there may be solace in this collection.

Click here to order a copy from Amazon


Join us at Bookworks Albuquerque on March 3rd from 3-4 for our book release. 

Edited by Courtney Butler, this collections contains work from writers around North America, including Katrina K GuarascioSaraEve Fermin, BassamHeather GrimesBlythe BairdLaura BurgessSadof Alexander, and many more!

“This collection is a wrenchingly painful, honest, and ultimately beautiful depiction of what people with eating disorders struggle through. Part of the insidiousness of disordered eating is that it operates so definitively in secrecy. It is characterized by locked bathroom doors, midnight binges, furtively skipped meals, and deeply held shame. Shame thrives in darkness, and this book brings in light. It shines on all the pain that is so often hidden away, and in doing so is a message of resilience, healing, and hope.”

~Amanda Knoll, MA, LPC 

Bookwork Book Release: Mary and Aja Oishi’s Rock Paper Scissors

Mother daughter poets, Mary & Aja Oishi, read from their new Swimming With Elephants Publications collection, Rock Paper Scissors.


“…this collection carries both the beauty of human resilience and the searing pain of postatomic burning carnage. The poetry, like hope, is an obstinate and sturdy survivor, for ‘what could i do but write songs.’ These verses often push the envelope, asking questions that make more sense than our grammar. ‘are you out there in the stealth night on the edge of blue? listening/ are you loving me for sending you this fix of heartbreak/ slid down metal, taut and wound. electric. are you?’ …haunting, resonant odes and the rhythmic power of promises and truth, poems spread across Hiroshima and Barcelona, Laos and Albuquerque. These poems bring the world into a familial embrace, but spit out the naked power of truth, both personal and political, as if it were a well-chewed chicken bone, gnawed raw. Through it all, this mother-daughter poetic duo reminds us that, in the beauty of human hope, ‘nothing sacred can be lost.’”

–Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate of Texas


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.

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.


Event date:
Friday, June 8, 2018 – 6:00pm
Event address:
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
AlbuquerqueNM 87107

Pick up this new release from Bookworks ABQ or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.


Featured SwEP Author: Gina Marselle

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Gina Marselle.

Gina Marselle’s collection, A Fire of Prayer, was published in the winter of 2015 by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

Listen to her perform here:


Pick up Gina Marselle’s collection, A Fire of Prayer, at Bookworks ABQ,

Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.


Gina Marselle

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.

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).

Featured SwEP Author: Kat Heatherington

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Kat Heatherington.

Kat Heatherington’s collection, the bones of this land, was published in 2017 after winning first place in a SwEP’s 2017 chapbook competition.

“The Bones of this Land is an exquisite collection of poetry and craft at its apex. Heatherington is an expert at subtle but powerful verse. Her words read like a whisper but resonate like a bomb. Here is a book that will leave you satiated, but curiously enough, hungry for more. ”

~Jessica Helen Lopez,
author of Always Messing With Them Boys and a recipient of the Zia Book Award

Pick up Kat Heatherington’s the bones of this land from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!


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.

Featured SwEP Author: Wil Gibson

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Wil Gibson.

Wil Gibson’s full length poetry collection, Quitting smoking, falling in and out of love, and other thoughts about death, was published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in April 2016.

Listen to Wil Gibson perform his poetry here:

Wil Gibson’s full length poetry collection, Quitting smoking, falling in and out of love, and other thoughts about death, from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.


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.