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


The Muse DVD Magazine Interview

This video interview with Robert Sward was conducted by Wallace Boss of Boss Productions, and is part of The Muse DVD Magazine series. The Muse DVD Magazine was a periodical in DVD format that … [Read More...]

new and selected poems robert sward 2011

New & Selected Poems, 1957 – 2011

New and Selected Poems: 1957 - 2011 is culled from Robert Sward’s newest and best works, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry. It is the definitive … [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
Oct 13 @ 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…]