Lydia Swartz

Furor Scribendi

Furor scribendi means passion for writing. Madness for writing.
It means words relentlessly pursued with safety off.
It means raunchy respect for language & idea.
It means a full-on awkward dance with the Bitch Muse.

"If I Were A Woman" at Naked Truth, June 10, 2011
(Photo: S.M. Selby)


Lydia Swartz is a flaneur, pornographer, poet, novelist, & spoken word performer. By day, she is a propaganda minister for a health insurance provider. She lives with her wife of 13 years & a fucking menagerie. Lydia is a practicing Buddhist, but her religion is flanerie.

* Lydia Swartz is also known as Kate Robinson or Bart Magma.



Wednesday, April 23 @ 7 pm
Poetry Bridge features Lydia Swartz & Larry Crist + OPEN MIC @ C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW. The features are not the usual suspects & they get enough time to seduce you. The open mic tends to be hot. Besides, I'm featuring & you should come! Free. Yummy coffee & desserts & fud.

Sunday, April 27 @ 6:45 pm doors, 7 pm show
Poetic Devices features 13 poets & not-necessarily-poets responding to 2 poems (e.e. cummings & Audre Lorde) @ The Rendezvous, 2322 2nd Ave. "Poetic Devices will stretch the audience's understanding of poetry, by doing two things: 1. Challenging other types of artists to write and perform poetry. 2. Use poetry as a way to reflect the diverse stories of the performers." Tickets $10 online, $14 door. Yes, you can frickin afford it. THIRTEEN performers.

artist's statement

I want to be one of the usual suspects.

I want to be raptured into raw brilliance I don't have to work for.

I want a bobblehead doll to horrify my not-so-many fans.

I want to rape those too polite or drunk to leavewith rhyme & iambic pentameter, that is.

I want a legendary aptitude for intoxication.

I want all my fights to be with other people & in public.

I want all my suicide attempts to fail.

I want to be incarcerated in a women-in-prison film shot in the Philippines but strangely the prison is full of tall blonde girls who speak English with a West Coast accent.

I want a virgin to choose me as her first; I want to turn her down, but not gently.

I want my legend to be something I don't have to write myself, alone in a too hot room.

I want pain that is not so fucking boring.

I want to be taller than birds can fly, no matter what it takes. I will outlive all of you if I have to.

Seattle Spoken Word Calendar

Seattle Spoken Word Calendar includes as many open mics as I can verify & events of interest to lovers of spoken word within Seattle city limits & sometimes beyond.

Seattle Erotic Arts Festival 2012

The beautiful official SEAF book that combines the art & the pieces written about the art—including several by me. Very delicious in all the best NSFW ways! (To reiterate: NSFW & don't click if smut offends you.)

Read some of my pieces, sans art.



Friday, September 7, 2012 @ 7 pm
Book Launch Party for Evan J Peterson's Skin Job + Official Debut of Minor Arcana Press @ Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave. Poet Evan Peterson performs poems from his debut chapbook, “Skin Job” + special guest performances by Okanomodé, Morris Stegosaurus, & Lydia Swartz & guest Vincent Kovar of Gay City Anthologies. Music by Fiddleback. Emcee Elissa Ball.

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Gallery 110 opening (110 3rd Ave S) with poets reading pieces in response to Joan Kimura's art.

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Litquake Lit Crawl.
Not famous enough to be mentioned by name, but I'm in Phase I.

Friday, October 19, 2012
Fifth Wall Tour, "a look into Seattle's queer history; an exploration of the narratives of those who came before us & a view of places where history was made, both past & present. Fifth Wall tour will take 4 groups of "tourists" on a heart-wrenching & exciting look into both the unspoken history & inevitable glamour of Queer life in Seattle."

Saturday, December 22, 2012
Couth Buzzard 3rd anniversary party with multiple readers, musicians, & performers @ 8310 Greenwood Ave N. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 7 pm
Third Tuesday Reading featuring wordsmiths Ericka Michael, Edwina Finefrock, Lydia Swartz, & Robert Lashley, singer/ songwriter Sara Louise Depp @ Seattle Mobile Espresso, 13000 Meridian Ave N. Free! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 7 pm
Poetrybridge Pomes & Tails features Lydia Swartz & Moreah Vestan @ C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW. Followed by an always dynamite OPEN MIC!

Thursday, February 14, 2013 @ 8:30 pm
Seattle Spit Valentine's Day Smut by Lydia Swartz @ Wildrose Bar, 1021 E Pike. Free! Beer & wine! Plus OPEN MIC!  

April 5 & 6, 2013 @ 7:30 pm, April 7 @ 5 pm
Phrasings in Word + Dance
, a collaboration between Bellingham Repertory Dance with works curated by Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater (including one of mine) @ Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave, Bellingham. Featuring pieces choreographed by company dancers, as well as guest choreographer Mandy Pidgeon of LocalMotion Dance. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 7-11 pm
Five Four Five Greenwood Lit Crawl
@ 4 venues in Greenwood.
7 pm @ Ampersand Pantry & Cafe (424 N 85th, Suite A, 85th & Dayton): Steve Potter, Laura Neuman, Robert Kaye.
8 pm @ Neptune Coffee, 8415 Greenwood Ave N: Raul Sanchez, Corinne Manning, Janie Miller.
9 pm @ Yard Cafe, 8313 Greenwood Ave N: Roberto Ascalon, Chris Gusta, Lydia Swartz.
10 pm @ Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave N: Greg Bem, Rauan Klassnik, Laura Wachs, Thomas Gray.

I did Greenwood Litcrawl 4/20/13. To hear the soundtrack, listen to Integrity here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 7ish
Couth Buzzard Appreciation Day @ Couth Buzzard, 8310 Greenwood Ave N. There will be poetry & live jazz jamming.

Sunday, May 19,2013 @ 7 pm
Babel/Salvage Fundraiser featuring Bryan Edelfield, Kris hall, Graham Isaac, Ryan A Johnson, Amber Nelson, Evan J Peterson, Jeremy Springsteed, & Lydia Swartz @ Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave. Also music by Algebra of Need & Meredith Myre & performances by Molly Mac & Baniszewski & LeBlanc.

Friday, June 7 @ 7-9 pm
Literature tasting benefit for Minor Arcana Press with authors from Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam anthology @ Gay City Health Project, 517 E Pike. Featuring writers from the anthology, burlesque artist, & "musical prodigy" Meredith Myre. Raffle of goods, services, & sundries.  

Sunday, June 23 @ 1-4 pm
Edmonds Artists in Action @ Port of Edmonds Public Plaza (seaward of Anthony's by the boat launch).

Thursday, July 18
Da'Daedal @ Highline, 210 Broadway Ave E.

Saturday, August 3 @ 2:30 pm
Poets' favorites tour of Seattle Erotic Art Festival, featuring works read next to the visual art that inspired them @ Showbox SODO, 1700 1st Ave S. 

Saturday, August 3 @ 5 pm
Readings featuring accepted literary artists of Seattle Erotic Art Festival, featuring works inspired by the visual art @ Showbox SODO, 1700 1st Ave S.

Sunday, August 4 @ 12:30 pm
Poets' favorites tour of Seattle Erotic Art Festival, featuring works read next to the visual art that inspired them @ Showbox SODO, 1700 1st Ave S.

Sunday, August 4 @ 3 pm
Readings featuring accepted literary artists of Seattle Erotic Art Festival, featuring works inspired by the visual art @ Showbox SODO, 1700 1st Ave S.

Saturday, September 7 @ noon-5 pm
Cartographer's Awakening exhausts a space on King Street during NEPO 5K Don't Run @ International District

Wednesday, September 18 @ 6:30 pm
Thursday, September 19 @ 8 pm
Friday, September 20 @ 9:30 pm
Saturday, September 21 @ 9 pm

Gender Tender presents Heels & Flats
@ Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave as part of Seattle Fringe Festival. Tickets only $10! 

Sunday, October 13 @ 7:30 pm
Valerie Hsiung, whose 2 (TWO!) new books of poetry have just been released by O Balthazar Press, reads with Evan Peterson, Chelsea Kurnick, & Lydia Swartz @ Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave.

1001 nights, a novel

1001 Nights, a 60,000-word novel, tells about what happens to Shar after her partner, Dana, who is disabled by MS, asks Shar to collect erotic adventures, then come home and tell Dana the stories. It's loosely based on the classic Arabian Nights. In this case, however, Shar breaks out of her role as a shy techie. She becomes known as a talented dominant and notorious as a street artist. Everything goes well—until somebody else decides to take credit for Shar's increasingly powerful and well known art. 1001 Nights was a finalist in the 2008 Suspect Thoughts novel contest.

Chapter 1.

works in progress

15 Things You Can Do With Your Poems. We write the darn things. We write & write & write poem after poem after poem. Then what?

BIG NATURE: a theme & 7 variations, including epithalamium & elegy, rant & Oulipo, glossary & translation.

Man's Best Friend, a novel in progress, is the hero's journey of Drake Doolittle, a trans man with a magic vestigial tail, and his nemesis muse, Godiva. After Drake loses his job, an extended period of unemployment leads to posting his dog Tiresias's blog, and from there to a new career: celebrity shamanism. 

10 Year YES is an anniversary love-rant for my partner of, yes, 10 years.

Not Angry (link to MP3) is slam poetry about slam poetry. Oooh, meta.

Exemption (link to MP3) is a slightly different kind of breakup poem.