About Robert Sward

Born on the Jewish North Side of Chicago, bar mitzvahed, sailor, amnesiac, university professor (Cornell, Iowa, Connecticut College), newspaper editor, food reviewer, father of five children, husband to four wives, my writing career has been described by critic Virginia Lee as a “long and winding road.”

I began writing poetry in Chicago at age 15, when I was named corresponding secretary for a gang of young punks and hoodlums called the Semcoes. A Social Athletic Club, we met at various locations two Thursdays a month. My job was to write postcards to inform my brother thugs–who carried switchblade knives and stole cars for fun and profit–as to when, where and why we were meeting.

Latest Blog


Evanescene. Doty writes movingly, beyond movingly... about the death of his partner, Wally, from AIDS. "How can you hide, wrote Heraclitus, from what never goes away? Death is always … [Read More...]

Forthcoming Books

Love Has Made Grief Absurd

A tragi-comedy, a monologue in the voice of a SF Bay Area artist as she struggles with the gradual loss of her faculties and, indeed, the loss of “herself” as she continues to live her life and create art. Purchasable Soon


Memoir @ Louden Nelson Center
Dec 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Memoir @ Louden Nelson Center | Santa Cruz | California | United States
If someone asked you to sum up the story of your life in one sentence, what would it be? If you had to choose just half a dozen family photos to tell your life story,... [Read More]

Featured Poem

Portrait of an L.A. Daughter

Her third eye is strawberry jam
has a little iris in it
her eyelids
are red
she’s sleepy
and the milk
has gone down
the wrong way.
I’ve just had breakfast
with the smallest person in the world.  
[Read more…]