I'm a lover of words, and always appreciate the lyrical recommendations of my friend, and fellow author Melissa Johnson.

When she recommend I check out a local authors new poetry book, I had no idea I would come find one of my favorite poems of 2017.

I will admit it, I judge other peoples work just like I do my own, and any lover of word wrestling will find some enjoyment from Food Stamps.

Food Stamps is a poem that was written by R.H. Swaney, and can be found in a video at the top of his Facebook page here.

I asked Swaney some questions about his new book Lovely Seeds.

For anyone who is not familiar with you or your work how would you describe you?

I am a quiet, small town boy who has used poetry as a creative outlet and a way to express my thoughts concerning this world. I try to hold true the words my grandpa taught me, “leave this place better than you found it.” So, it is my hope that my writing reflects that ideology.

When and why did you start writing this book?

Some of the older pieces in this book were written 3-4 years ago. I started putting this poetry collection together in book form about a year ago.

Who did you have in mind when you wrote it, and who would benefit from reading it?

I wrote this book for people who want to find a light in this dark world. Whether it means loving and accepting ourselves for who we are, or learning how to love others, it’s my hope that my words can be that light for people. I included only shorter poetry pieces, with the hope that they can be like seeds for people that they can take with them and eventually let them grow in their heart as something good and positive for themselves and the people around them.

Where did you find most of your inspiration for writing this?

I find my inspiration in people. I wrote almost every single piece in this book with someone in mind that I have interacted with personally.

If you could have lunch with 3 authors living or dead who are you eating with, and what’s on the menu?

I would have lunch with Mary Oliver, Iain S. Thomas, and Rupi Kaur. These three poets have been very influential to me, but all three have a very different writing style and story to tell this world, so I feel the conversations that we’d have would be so intriguing. I would take them to M. B. Haskett, because I love showing off our local cuisine.

Do you have any advice for anyone who has a book inside them they would like to write?

Just start writing. It’ll seem messy and even incoherent at times, but once it is out of your mind and on paper, you’ll be able to really see the potential it has, which was my main motivation to continue to self-publish.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your work?

The only thing I hope people get out of my work is that we all hold a beauty inside of ourselves, and that there is light in this dark world, even if it is hard to find at times.

Where can people buy your work?

I love it when local people reach out to me directly to purchase a copy, because I get to meet and sometimes even have coffee with these lovely people. However, the easiest way to get a copy is through Amazon.

You can follow Swaney on Instagram here, or to get a copy of Lovely Seeds on Amazon click here.

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