Coming Soon: Worn Out Gorgeous

Coming Soon:

Worn Out Gorgeous

by Aaron Ambrose

We would like to announce the upcoming release of Worn Out Gorgeous by Aaron Ambrose, the second of three chapbooks which were chosen for publication from our 2020 Chapbook Open Call. Originally scheduled for release in June, the pandemic has pushed our release date to October, 2020.


Follow our website and Facebook page for upcoming release and performance information.


An additional note to our followers:

The ability to publish is a luxury which should not be the top priority of our society at the moment, and it has not been the top priority for our staff. However, we have every intention of fulfilling the contracts we made before the pandemic.

Due to the pandemic we have postponed this year’s Open Call for chapbooks and the Weekly Write. After the new year, in 2021, we will reevaluate our business model and decide on our next steps.

Although we have no idea what the future holds for our small press, we have our fingers crossed that we will survive this difficult time and come out on the other side but it is far too soon to know what we will look like in the next year.

We still have one more chapbook from last year’s Open Call which we hope to release before the end of 2020 and are hoping to still be able put together our 2020 anthology. We have extended our timeline for these publications and we appreciate the patience of our followers and poets.

You can continue to support us by supporting our poets and supporting independent bookstores.

Kat Heatherington to Feature at Mindwell Poetry September 18

Kat Heatherington is the featured guest at an upcoming poetry reading, and we would like to invite you to attend! 

Please read the following invitation from Kat to learn how to attend and get a copy of The Heart is a Muscle:

Mindwell Poetry’s The Poet Speaks series will be held over Zoom on Friday, September 18th, at 7pm – so  you can attend from anywhere in the world.  There’s an open mic, and then the host will briefly interview me , and then I’ll read from my new book, The Heart is a Muscle, which came out in March – and for which this is the first feature-length reading I’ve done, given how this year has turned out. 🙂

I’m really looking forward to sharing this work with you, and I’d love to see you there!

Event details are here:
<> and the Zoom link
will be available from there as well, a little closer to the date.  Even if you are not on facebook, this page should be accessible.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of the book yet, they’re available directly from me, as well as at Harvest Moon Books,<>, and Amazon, along with my first book, The Bones of This Land.

And if you enjoy my work and would be interested in receiving poetry in your inbox a couple times a month, check out my Patreon page! Patreon has been a source of deep delight in this difficult year. For as little as $1/month you will receive brand-new and unpublished poems in your
inbox, or for $5/month, you can have a handwritten postcard poem mailed
to you. Both the postcard photo and the poem are my original work. <>

I hope to see you on the 18th!

Now Available: A Duet of Dying

The latest release from

Swimming with Elephants Publications

is now available!


“A Duet of Dying is a poignant and honest approach to surviving terminal sickness, living disabled, and the constant navigation of the healthcare system of the United States. From honest confessions like remaining with somebody caught cheating “Because I was on his health insurance,” in Why Did You Stay? part 3, to the foreign and familiar feeling of not knowing yourself apart from the “alien” in Pathogen, this collection is a special one for its approach through — and more aptly: with — sickness. Then there is the raw cruelty that is given a voice so aptly in Ringtones into Dirges; here, at last, are words for the battle with collections calls for MRIs and diagnostic tests; those which are necessary to life, but the collected debt of which could easily drive somebody to death. And I think, finally, finally, here is an honest testament — of love, of life (while actively dying), of death (and still living). And wonderfully, a narrative from two powerful queer voices, who offer this bittersweet collection, so purely.”

~Reviewed by Maxine Peseke

As always, we encourage ordering the collection from the authors personally or through an independent bookstore, but the collection is also available through Amazon and other distributors.

Click here to order today!

About the Authors

 Shanna Alden (they/them) is a queer poet, photographer, barista, and bartender living in Seattle, WA with their chosen family and a couple very soft cats. They sit on the board of Rain City Poetry Slam and consistently host weekly poetry shows.

Erin Schick (they/them) is a queer, trans, and multiply disabled social worker living in upstate New York and focused on disability justice and queer liberation. Their interests include the Pacific Northwest, women’s soccer, and sled dogs.

Pre-orders are Available for A Duet of Dying

“What is it to face something defined as inevitable and find some still breathing beauty within, however imperfect that beauty may be? If you are Shanna Alden or Erin Schick, then the answer is: sing your heartsong as vibrantly, fiercely and unapologetically as possible. With this collection, they do all of that and more. These are poems that do not attempt to define or even simply describe the experience of living with disability, or surviving terminal illness within a broken system of care. No, these are poems that translate every breath into a minor miracle, speaking to the blossoming of pain as eloquently as the slow simmer of determination beneath the surface. A Duet of Dying is, almost, improperly titled – because with every poem, you can almost hear the swelling voices of the choir, of all of those out there in the wide world who have experiences that will make this work invaluable. This collection is so utterly, inevitably human, it will leave you shaken.”

Zachary Kluckman, CPSW

Author of Some of It is Muscle and The Animals in Our Flesh

Pre-order A Duet of Dying today: !

Weekly Write: “The Astronaut” by Rachel Glass

The Astronaut

One day, I’ll look out of my bedroom window
and smile, even if the world is ending.

The world is ending,
I tell my doctor.

My doctor tells me I shouldn’t fantasize
about smiling out of my bedroom window.
Smiling out of my bedroom window
is the opening scene, of a sitcom based on my life.

The sitcom based on my life makes others laugh.
Others laugh, and I am jealous because I cannot laugh.
I cannot laugh because I am too tired.

I am too tired,
is something else I tell my doctor.

I tell my doctor,

I am an astronaut,
readjusting to a normal life.

This normal life is making me homesick:
I miss the emptiness of space, and being wrapped in stars.
Being wrapped in stars is a distant memory,
and now, I am wrapped in blankets.

I am wrapped in blankets because a normal life
has too many people, too much noise,
and too much gravity, holding me in my bed.
In my bed is where I am happy.

I am happy when I’m alone,
I tell my doctor.

I tell my doctor,

I am happy,
even though my world is ending.


Rachel Glass currently lives in Scarborough, England and has been writing poetry since she was was sixteen. She has had a number of poems published on the Poetry Society’s website and a poem was featured in a Valley Press anthology. She is usually found writing, drinking hot chocolate and wearing glittery shoes.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.