Robert M. Sarwark

Creative & Information Professional/Writer

Atlanta, GA

Robert M. Sarwark

Creative and information professional/writer with a passion for the international and the original.

Available for freelance work.


Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the Banned Booksellers’ Plight

Hong Kong, though always geographically a part of China, has for much of recent history been a different story. A British colony since 1842, English common law had reigned until it was finally handed over to China in 1997. This erstwhile unique status guaranteed the territory a level of intellectual freedom similar to many other Western jurisdictions. In that sense, for over 150 years Hong Kong was able to develop to where its citizens expected to be able to speak, write, and read quite freely.
Intellectual Freedom Blog (ALA-OIF) Link to Story

Candide, Or Optimism (1759)

VOLTAIRE (François-Marie Arouet), Candide and Other Stories. Translated by Roger Pearson. Oxford and New York: The World’s Classics (Oxford University Press), 1990. Original citation: Candide, ou l’Optimisme. Traduit de l’allemand de Mr le docteur Ralph. [Cramer: Geneva, Switzerland], 1759; first condemned in Italian: Candido, o l’Ottimismo del signor Dottor Ralph tradotto in italiano.
Bibliography of the Damned Link to Story

The Seven Words You Can’t Say at the CDC…?

Is there a censorship crisis currently happening at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? The answer depends on whom you ask. On Friday, December 15, the Washington Post reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located in Atlanta, had declared at a meeting with policy analysts the previous day that it would prohibit a list of seven terms.
Intellectual Freedom Blog (ALA-OIF) Link to Story

Meet the Father–Son Luthier Team Behind Rice Guitars

There’s a nondescript house on a quiet street in a suburb of Chicago where many extraordinary things are made.
Reverb Link to Story

True Story: Santa Luzia ("Ghost Island")

“For almost three years, even beyond my Peace Corps service, I had explored this archipelago. At the time, in the early spring of 2012, this had included checking off sleepy, sun-kissed Maio, my ninth visited. And, I thought, my last, for the elusive number ten, Santa Luzia, is not only uninhabited, but also more or less inaccessible but by fishing boat (or yacht, but unfortunately I hadn’t broken into that scene).”
AITA Cape Verde Link to Story

True Story: Santiago ("Avenida Charles Darwin")

“In a place so overlooked both in Darwin’s time and at present, even these brief comments of his gave me valuable perspective on what would soon be my reality. Reading more about his adventures, my vague wanderlust became more focused. I found that his sense of seeing things as a part of a whole, as a part of the intertwining cosmos of both the organic and inorganic, might very well be constructive notions to hang onto.”
AITA Cape Verde Link to Story

The Peace Corps Celebrates 55 Years

This year, the Peace Corps celebrates 55 years since that day. Now, over 140 countries have been served by over 220,000 Volunteers, all working to promote the three goals of this independent federal agency...
IAS Library Link to Story

Louis Riel, the Métis, and the Making of Modern Canada

The recent Hollywood blockbuster The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio as an 1820s fur trader left for dead after a bear attack in the wilds of what are today the states of Montana and South Dakota. While the plot is partially fictional, much of actual North American history is referenced, including the harshness of the conditions surrounding the fur trade of the era.
IAS Library Link to Story

What’s in a Flag? A Brief Introduction to Vexillology

If you followed the news this past summer, you likely noticed that there was much talk of flags and their significance. This was especially the case for the State of South Carolina as legislation was passed to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the capitol in Columbia. This came after a horrific mass killing took place at the hands of a white supremacist who had previously been photographed brandishing not only the Confederate battle flag, but also those of apartheid-era Rhodesia and South Africa.
IAS Library Link to Story

The Amish of Illinois

Think for a moment what the word “worldly” connotes in its modern usage: a high level of formal education; sophistication; open-mindedness about cultures, languages, and ways different from our own. All in all, these can be seen as quite positive attributes. In cosmopolitan circles, one might fondly refer to a well-traveled and/or multilingual friend as “worldly,” perhaps with a slight air of envy at their mobility and adventuresome lifestyle.
IAS Library Link to Story

Artist Profile: Chema Skandal! (Chicago, IL)

As I sit here listening to 1965′s “Scandal Ska” by the legendary Skatalites of Kingston, Jamaica, I can’t help but get nostalgic about a time and a place that I’ve never actually known. But the power of this music lies in its very universality. That said, I can’t help but notice that a considerable proportion of these songs’ uploaders and commentators on YouTube are Spanish-speaking.
I Paint My Mind Link to Story

Latin America After Chávez (Translation)

No matter his flaws, Hugo Chávez’s passion for lifting up the poor is a lasting legacy. Translated by Benjamin Legg and Robert M. Sarwark from the Portuguese.
The New York Times Link to Story


Robert M. Sarwark

Born and raised in Chicagoland. Educated in the US and abroad, particularly Cape Verde, West Africa. Currently living in Atlanta.



  • Portuguese-English translation
  • Copywriting
  • Storyboarding
  • Screenwriting
  • Songwriting
  • Voiceover
  • Profiles