Elizabeth Swados

(1951 / New York / United States)

Biography of Elizabeth Swados

Elizabeth Swados (born February 5, 1951) is an American writer, composer, musician, and theatre director. While some of her subject matter is humorous, such as her satirical look at Ronald Reagan, Rap Master Ronnie, and Doonesbury - both collaborations with Garry Trudeau - much of her work deals with dark issues such as racism, murder, and mental illness.
Born February 5, 1951 in Buffalo, New York, Swados has been open about her turbulent life in her autobiography The Four of Us, A Family Memoir published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1991.

Her father, Robert O. Swados, was a very successful attorney who helped Seymour H. Knox III convert the local Buffalo Sabres hockey club into a full National Hockey League team. His autobiography, Counsel in the Crease: A Big League Player in the Hockey Wars was published by Prometheus Books in 2005.

Her actress mother struggled with depression, while her older brother (and only sibling) Lincoln developed schizophrenia. Her mother committed suicide in 1974, and Lincoln died in 1989.

Swados herself has suffered from depression from childhood on, a condition she explored in her book My Depression: A Picture Book.

Swados studied music at Bennington College in Vermont, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. In 1980, the Hobart and William Smith College awarded her an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters.

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Summer sounds,
Concrete and heat,
Sneakered feet on tar,
Stepping on a melted candy bar,
Crunch, crunch
Gravel on the street,
Hydrant waterfall,
The sun's an orange basketball,
Bonk bonk
Summer sounds,
And then the
Summer's gone.

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