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New & Selected Poems

"When Robert Sward arrived in Santa Cruz in 1985, he instantly became the area's most nationally famous resident poet..."
--Stephen Kessler, Santa Cruz Weekly (read full review here...)

“Here is Robert Sward, now in his seventies, still fresh, ingenuous, and funnier than ever. His life--and what a life--is an open book. You can read all about it here. What's more, you will want to call your friends and read poems to them over the phone. I know, I've done it.”

-- Carolyn Kizer on Four Incarnations

"...fierce, new-minted and convincing...he has a voice and a range."

-- New York Times Book Review on Kissing the Dancer.

New and Selected is culled from Robert Sward's newest and best works, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry.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 his outwardly zany and fanciful, inwardly serious, troubled and questioning poems. They cover the territory Sward has tread so well--love, divorce, multiple marriages, aging, loss, and the challenge of bringing up children in a highly unstable world--in his lifelong search for the liberating illumination of IT.
-Red Hen Press
ISBN-13 978-1-59709-261-6

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God is in the Cracks 2nd printing

“The heart and core of this book is a series of dramatic monologues and dialogues between father and son.

The irrepressible aliveness and weird wisdom of the father-son series should win it a lasting place in the literature of our day.”

--Robyn Sarah, The Globe & Mail

Garrison Keillor reads title poem on Writer's Almanac

More about God is in the Cracks

Purchase Signed Edition - Limited time only

The Collected Poems 2nd printing

“By turns humorous and serious, ecstatic and perplexed, he is always fanciful, lively and life-affirming. Sward's Collected Poems is that most unusual thing in contemporary poetry: a good-humored, gregarious and heartfelt book, abundantly human and unfeigned.”

-- Robyn Sarah, The Globe & Mail

More about The Collected Poems

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To Be Published 2012

The Dogs in My Life

Cover art by Jim Aschbacher

“Prone to barking myself, I felt right at home. Enjoyable in the moment, the poems continue to reverberate with a much- needed wisdom.”

-- Ellen Bass

“In the animal poems there is a bravery in the face of our limitations, a warmth for our absurdities, a way of life to be gleaned from our failings and ineptitudes...a self-critique that turns our 'freakishness' into an ironic source of fulfillment and transcendence.”

-- The Carleton Miscellany

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The poetry and prose of Robert Sward. Thank you for visiting.