About

A fireman. A writer’s writer. A minor poet. A scribbler and dabbler.

I was born in Brooklyn, bought up in Los Angeles, came of age in Santa Cruz, and entered the real world in New York City. I’ve spent the last 40 years creating advertising and other communications for some of the world’s largest brands, as well as some you’d need a séance to find.

During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working on staff, in a freelance capacity and as a consultant. I have repositioned companies to help make them stronger competitors and also make them more attractive to potential buyers. I have crossed both the Atlantic and the Pacific to peddle my wares.

Formal Education

I received my Bachelor’s degree from The University of California, Santa Cruz graduating with honors with degrees in Aesthetic Studies and Psychology. In 2009, I earned a Master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.

As a brand strategist, a creative director and a writer, I have worked on staff, in a freelance capacity, and as a consultant.

I have experience working at the front and center of a brand, and also in the shadows.

As a poet, I was invited to read in the 2017 Festival Internacional de Poesia en el Caribe, PoeMaRio in Barranquilla, Colombia. I was also a winner of the 2003 Discovery / The Nation Poetry Competition. My poem, "How I Know She’s Coming Home," was selected by Natasha Trethewey, then United States Poet Laureate, for Meridian Best New Poets in 2007.

Some published work.

I have had poems published in The Nation, Margie: The Journal of American Poetry, and New Millennium Writings. Some of my written works have also been featured in Adbusters, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, and The New York Times.

Epithalamium
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This article, published in afterimage, offers a critique of a Louis Vuitton advertisement, which used Mikhail Gorbachev and “cold war” iconography to sell its luggage. The article concluded that the ad does not sell luxury, but ironically, the death of luxury.

AdbustersCover

Death and the Angry Black Man

This piece, published in Adbusters, was one from a collection of short stories titled “Six Little Deaths.” It tells the story of an unlikely friendship and its inevitable conclusion.

The New York Times

“Idealism and New York Reality Collide in the Bike Lane.” Oct. 9, 2009. “The bike lane. Another common-sense initiative to turn New York into a little Copenhagen. If only the city-bred people were as courteous as Danes. If only we had a culture defined by a friendly homogeneity of purpose, a place where content commuters shared the street with neighbors, friends and distant cousins.”

BikesTimes

Published Works

  • AMERICAN LULLABY: Poems by Robert A. B. Sawyer. (Exits But No Escapes Press, NYC, 2014)
  • American Lullaby: Edicion Bilingue Con Nuevos Poemas Perfect Paperback by Robert A. B. Sawyer (Author), Tallulah Flores Prieto (Translator) Publisher: ‎ Isla Negra Editores (January 1, 2019)
  • KISS & SELL: Writing for Advertising (AVA Publishing, UK; Acquired by Bloomsbury Publishing, UK, 2004)

Produced Works

  • On This Side of the Window, performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers. Music and arrangement by Philip White, conducted by Lesly Leighton.
  • Hong Kong Harbor, 1984, performed by The Angel City Chorale on June 2, 2012. Music and arrangement by Philip White.
  • Dark Joy — A one-act play as an evening of three one-act plays called Lovers and Madmen. A two-week run at the Sanford Meisner Theater. Directed by Damien Gray.

Kiss & Sell: Writing for Advertising breaks down in detail how to write for any product, good, or service, in any media, from print and broadcast to the digital realms. It reviews tactics and strategies. There’s commentary, examples, and advice from leading players in the advertising world that offer aspiring professionals, important insights and meaningful guidance.

From the book: “As a copywriter, your job is not to amuse or entertain, but rather to introduce ideas, direct eyes, guide hands, and ultimately sell products. By examining the work here, you’ll learn that good copy is as much a craft as it is an art, and, along the way, you'll learn how to succeed in this glamorous industry.”

First published in 2004 as Kiss & Sell: writing for advertising; reissued in 2006 in English and Spanish as Kiss & Sell: writing for advertising (redesigned & rekissed).

https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Sell-Advertising-Redesigned-Rekissed/dp/2940373469

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Kiss & Sell: Writing for Advertising details how to write for any product, good, or service, in media, from print and broadcast to the digital realms. It reviews tactics and strategies. There’s commentary, examples, and advice from leading players in the advertising world that offer aspiring professionals both important insights and meaningful guidance.

As a copywriter, your job is not to amuse or entertain, but rather to introduce ideas, direct eyes, guide hands, and ultimately sell products. By examining the work here, you’ll learn that good copy is as much a craft as it is an art, and, along the way, you'll learn how to succeed in this glamorous industry.

https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Sell-Advertising-Redesigned-Rekissed/dp/2940373469

Some work in passing