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.
Elizabeth Swados Poems
Tsss Summer sounds, Tsss Concrete and heat,
Haunted Toilet 2
WE have a toilet that has remained broken for five weeks now. It continues to flush itself whenever it feels the urge.
A Breast Grows In My Head
A breast grows in my head My brain has a nipple The milk sways back and forth making the lobes slosh
The shaking, the sleep The shaking, the sleep the not remembered dreams that have you waking up sudden
Her music is strange because the pen is a man's pen and her fingernails are polished red.
Massacre At The Spa
SIT on your hands until that mouth of yours can say something useful to the brook
Fortune Cookie Fortunes
YOU will uproot and move and there will be nothing.
Massacre At The Spa
SIT on your hands
until that mouth of yours
can say something useful to the brook
the green haired lawn of this spa
where you've been sent
to redirect your energy
and rearrange your attitudes
that surround your genetics.