In a family of arborists, artists, and punks, Abigail Swoboda figured they ought to be a writer. They wrote their first story in first grade and made it official by pasting their school yearbook photo inside the back cover of the book. They consider their this their first publication.
Swoboda grew up three miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line in a rural Pennsylvania town that by technical definition is actually a village, having fewer than 2,000 residents. As such, Swoboda dreamed daily of living anywhere but there. They would finally get their first taste of the big city at age 17, when they travelled to New York City to accept a Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at Carnegie Hall for their satirical critique of rampant domestic abuse cover-ups within the NFL. Swoboda thought they would attend school in New York. They overshot by about 97 miles.
In fact, Swoboda would go on to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, earning Bachelor’s degrees in French and in English with a concentration in creative writing in 2020 and a Masters in English in 2021.
During this time, Swoboda also started a bee farm with their mother; ran a paranormal investigative group successfully for four years before the organization eventually collapsed due to COVID-19; and managed to publish a few dozen poems and short stories in various online and print publications. Their favorite publications are Philly-local ones.
As of now, Swoboda teaches kindergarteners at Friends Select School in Center City Philadelphia and is a part of the prose team for the literary journal Chestnut Review. Philadelphia has become a home for Swoboda, and they intend to stay there—for a while at least.
In their work, Abigail seeks to explore abrasive domesticity, mistaken motherhood, and the tenderness uncovered in fractured places.