New and Selected Poems: 1957 – 2011 is culled from Robert Sward’s newest and best works, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry.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 Sward collection, exhibiting throughout his signature style: outwardly zany and fanciful, but inwardly serious, troubled, and questioning. They cover the territory Sward has tread so well—love, divorce, multiple marriage, aging, loss, and the challenge of bringing up children in a highly unstable world.
“Indeed, the winding road offered by New and Selected Poems 1957–2011 is a fruitful, enlightening journey where we are mesmerized by the sounds and sites of a poet who has examined not only what poetry is, but what it means to live as a poet.”
-Iris Jamahl Dunkle (Read Full Review Here)
Santa Cruz Poet Releases Career Collection Robert Sward’s New and Selected Poems by Stephen Kessler -SANTA CRUZ WEEKLY
When Robert Sward arrived in Santa Cruz in 1985, he instantly became the area’s most nationally famous resident poet.
“Robert Sward’s poems are the result of a plunge into a never fully ironized, often hilarious sense of mysticism: they are the product of a restless, spiritually adventuresome sensibility masking itself as a stand-up comedian. This poet learned early that the comic, the ‘zany,’ was a mask by which one could assert oneself—through which one would be listened to. In his poems, the mask remains, but it is at the service of an essentially visionary impulse: ‘the vision, the life that it requires.’ Wonderful work.”
“These are such funny, sad, generous poems—peopled with characters it’s impossible not to love, especially Robert’s podiatrist-Jewish-Rosicrucian father with his wisdom that bridges all dualities expounding on the feet and the soul, sex and death, the broken and the whole. In one poem, Robert asserts, ‘In a world of No, dogs are a Yes’. And in the world of poetry, this book is a resounding Yes. Read it when you’re happy, but especially read it when you’re depressed. You’ll find yourself joining in with the many dogs in these poems, saying, ‘Woof, woof f—in’ woof!’”
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Red Hen Press; 1st Edition edition (October 1, 2011)