New and Selected Poems: 1957 - 2011 is culled from Robert Sward’s newest and best works, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry.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—in his lifelong search for the liberating illumination of IT.
About the Author
Robert Sward has taught at Cornell University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and UC Santa Cruz. A Fulbright Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, he was chosen by Lucille Clifton to receive a Villa Montalvo Literary Arts Award. Among his 30 books are Four Incarnations (Coffee House Press), Heavenly Sex, God is in the Cracks (Black Moss Press), and Rosicrucian in the Basement. He is also the author of The Toronto Islands, a best-selling illustrated history of a close-knit community and historic area in the heart of Toronto.
Born and raised in Chicago, Sward served in the U.S. Navy in the combat zone during the Korean War and later worked for CBC Radio and as book reviewer and feature writer for The Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail.
Praise for New & Selected Poems, 1957 - 2011…
“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.” —Jack Foley
“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!'” —Ellen Bass