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Robert Sward's Blog

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Gertrude Stein
Continuing to prepare for Esalen Autobiography workshop, which I’ll be teaching [in Big Sur] April 9-11. Currently reading Ben Yagoda’s MEMOIR, A HISTORY. Yagoda begins with Saint Augustine’s CONFESSIONS and goes on to Julius Caesar, Ulysses S. Grant and a whole raft of others, including rock stars...
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Big Sur
Preparing for my April 9 - 11 class at Esalen in Big Sur. Reading Ben Yagoda's MEMOIR, A HISTORY, and mulling over the author's contention that "it's hard to find an important American novel that's not some variation on a memoir."Class is titled Autobiography for Poets, Fiction & Non-...
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Swimmin' today, I'm thinking dog dog dog... knowing somehow 'out there,' right now, there The Dog. At last I become an honest man, writin' about dogs, but not (currently) owning one. Looking for mature, well-trained, 2 - 7 years old, not too large, got all his / her shots, dog that's been around...
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Goodwill Buddha
On Front Street, next door to Santa Cruz' Museum of Art and History (MAH), directly across from Trader Joe's, is a secondhand store, well, it's like a Goodwill gone to seed.  Old clothes, bric a brac... but on occasion they display ill-shapened Buddhas in the front window. At one level it's like a...
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Gloria Alford, Samurai
Just back from Santa Cruz Art League Reception. Members' Exhibit, "Local Essence," runs until February 7. Photo of Gloria K. Alford and her painting "Samurai," 18 x 18, acrylic on canvas. Santa Cruz Art League, 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz. 831.426.5787.
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Ellen Bass
Bloomsbury Review recently arrived with my interview with a favorite poet, Ellen Bass, Holding the Human Line, A Conversation With Ellen Bass. So I'm coloring outside the lines (poetic license?) and expanding this week's blog topic, "My Favorite Poem", to touch on two favorite books of...
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Browsing online and, by chance, click on The Toronto Islands, (Dreadnaught, 1983) a coffee-table size, non-fiction illustrated history ("a close-knit community, an island playground, an important historic area in the heart of Toronto"). I received a Canada Council grant and wrote the book...
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I suppose my interest in autobiography began in Cambridge, MA, following a car accident in 1968, in which I was run over and then woke in the backseat of someone’s MG bleeding and unable to remember anything.   Nothing like losing your memory for a couple days to stimulate an interest in...
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Big Sur
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, Weekend of April 9-11, 2010 Autobiography for Poets, Fiction and Non-fiction Writers Robert Sward "If someone asked you to sum up the story of your life in one sentence, what would it be?" asks Robert Sward. "If you had to choose just half a dozen family...
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Lady Gaga.jpeg
Blog is an extension of what I used to transcribe pen and ink into a hardcopy journal and/or writer's scrapbook. Blog is better, in part because it makes it easier to retrieve pastings from days, weeks, months, years ago... stories, images and info I may need later and need quickly... so what I...
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 "Do you wish it were otherwise?" my wife asks. "I mean, you know, that you were born an insider?" "No, not at all," I say. Response is automatic and I trust it. Apart from Christmas, I think of Von Steuben High School in Chicago where my baseball buddies created a...
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--Can a tall, thin, 58-year-old Jewish man achieve fulfillment as a Rent-A-Santa?               A buxom aspiring female Santa Claus in a quilted down jacket swaggers out of room C1 in the Civic Center.               I'm next in line for my "Rent-A-Santa" interview....
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Cover N. Bay Bohemian
 North Bay Bohemian (Dec. 16 - 23) out today with my little Santa feature, Succeeding at Santa... subtitle: "Can a skinny, middle-aged Jewish man achieve fulfillment as a Rent-A-Claus?" See cover image and the editor's provocative phrase, "Goy to the World." The story of this...
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Poetry. Marianne Moore has that wonderful opening line--to a poem called "Poetry"--, "I too dislike it..." Yet now and then people read it, and the spontaneous non-literary responses, especially, warm the heart, send one back... to writing...   "Your poetry, especially as...
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Bloomsbury Review
New Bloomsbury Review arrives with my interview with Ellen Bass, cover "Holding the Human Line, A Conversation With Ellen Bass." Sample: RS - Do you feel you've created a persona? There is an authenticity to the poems in both Mules of Love and The Human Line, and I personally feel I am...
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