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Swan Scythe Press, a publishing group located in Northern California, is committed to discovering and publishing the best new poets in the United States today. Its authors have won many national and local grants, awards and fellowships, and have disinguished themselves as artists and educators throughout the U.S. and other countries.

Founding Editor and Publisher Sandra McPherson, a widely-known and honored poet, along with the present Editor James DenBoer, have now turned over the editorial and publishing functions of the press to Robert Pesich.

The entire back-stock of the Swan Scythe books still in print is being offered at discount to interested institutions and individuals. For further details on purchasing our books, please e-mail Robert Pesich at

​Winner of the 2017 Swan Scythe Press Chapbook Prize was Kyle Liang of Hamden, CT for his manuscript How to Build a House

​​For contest rules and guidelines or to order books, please visit

Open this exquisite volume, The Hauntings, and you'll find the same exacting attention to language and life that Gail Waldstein paid to the still bodies of children she examined for decades as a pediatric pathologist. What unifies her medical and poetical work is a deep awarness of how ephemeral and fragile our lives are. These poems connect, smetimes with luminous joy, the many selves contained within the speaker: daughter, mother, lover, wife, doctor, grandmother, poet. They remind us that we are most beautiful when we are aware. As in Buddhist thought and practice: at first we know nothing; then we witness to understand; finally, we engage in loving action. These poems are forms of loving action. They are evocative and varied gifts we receive from the world. 


Mauricio Kilwein Guevara


"J. Bruce Fuller's new collection of poems composes its own language of place, a topophilia of south Louisiana, songs of water, levees, drowning, and loss: "[prayers] for this washboard land". In the floods of 1927 and 2005, this lyric storyteller traces the recurrent arc of human folly and complicity across the span of a century, even as he recapitulates the love that keeps its inhabitants rooted in a shifting, unstable land. "The river is in all of us." Fuller's poems place us deep in the midst of it, muck, water, and love -- "a new landfill / in the old neighborhood" -- wind-torn, haunted, still ahold of the dreams.


Marthe Reed







​"Abounding with the melodious examples of the lyric narrative poem, Henry W. Leung's chapbook traverses the experiences of immigration, seasons of loss and grief, and permutations of hunger. From classical mythology to Hawaiian legends, the languages and voices of "talk-story" in Paradise Hunger serve as a locus or guide across displacements of revolution, history, and memory. This is a rich collection to savor, line by line, as Leung muses on questions of home in stanzas eloquently laden with image and allusion: 'You gave us peaches, our golden apples of Hera, our home myth. Peaches blooming only once each three thousand years.'"

Karen An-hwei Lee                                      




“Stephen Kessler’s Scratch Pegasus captures the poignancy of the human drama in poems as great as Ferlinghetti’s observing and honoring young lovers and aging poets recalling their youth. Amazing sonnets paint miniature portraits of iconic characters from his past while longer poems which themselves are music and art praise musicians and artists who have inspired him. ‘Driving a Stake through the Heart of Beatnik Vampires’ is one of the funniest poems I’ve ever read. Kessler’s poems offer vision after vision that empowers young poets and old poets to take flight.”


Antler, author of The Selected Poems





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