• R.H. Swaney
  • February 5, 2019
  • Poetry | 160pp
  • Trade Paper  978-1-77168-148-3  $14.99
  • Ebook  978-1-77168-149-0  $5.99
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Lovely Seeds

R. H. Swaney brings a depolarizing voice to the poetry world with this debut collection. Amongst the topics of mental health, self-love, and social progress, readers will find a soft but powerful voice that uncovers the beauty that exists inside of all of us.  Examining life and its circle from seed to withering to regrowth, the thought-provoking nature of this collection will bring readers to a place of self-exploration, reflection, and a deeper understanding of their place in the world.


“Lush, inviting, and blooming with hope. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to take a moment for yourself, Lovely Seeds is that excuse. Swaney’s words on empathy and kindness are a much needed reminder, not just in today’s hectic world, but in tomorrow’s too.” —Trista Mateer, author of Honeybee

“R. H. Swaney is a vulnerable yet strong voice that will stand out from the masses.” —Alicia Cook, author of I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip

“In a time of loudspeak and untruths, Swaney’s poetry softly affirms what we all need to hear from someone, somewhere—that we are loved.” — Bradley Hathaway, musician, author, and spoken word artist

“Every page is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself. Lovely Seeds will help you be ok with being you.” —Iain S. Thomas, author of I Wrote This For You

“We are living in very divisive times, and R.H. Swaney gives us a much needed breath of fresh air in Lovely Seeds as he explores the beauty that can be found even the most hopeless of situations.” —Cyrus Parker, author of DROPKICKromance

“Like an invitation into rest and safety for the soul.” —Hillary McBride, author of Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image, co-host of The Liturgists

“This book is the perfect balance of building you up, while also encouraging you to be better. There’s something in here for all of us, no matter how we’re feeling.” —Kyle Fasel, bassist of Real Friends, author of nothing memorable stays the same


food stamps

I heard a news story about a woman who sold her food stamps to buy cigarettes and cocaine. 

Everyone wondered how somebody could be so selfish with the taxpayer’s dollar. 

But I want to understand, I want to see how she could become so broken. 

The news doesn’t talk about her fatherless childhood, or her drugged-out mom, or the barbaric boys who beat her because she tried to say no to the way they wanted
to use her body. 

I wish the hands of empathy could replace
the spaces between her fingers holding cigarettes,
and mercy’s heart could beat in her chest until
healing pumps through her veins, replacing the cocaine.

I want the world to see that there is so much more to every single one of us underneath the pain. 


the garden beneath our ribs

If words are seeds, let flowers grow from your mouth,
not weeds. 

If our hearts are gardens, plant those flowers in the chests of the ones who are growing around you. 


we are rich with plenty

Gold drips from the petals of flowers. 

Diamonds can be found swimming in the ocean. 

Poetry falls from trees in the autumn. 

Timeless hymns can be heard from songbirds in the spring. 

What else could anyone want or need?