Thomas Swiss

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Thomas Swiss is an American poet and writer. He was a Professor of English and Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa. He is currently professor of Culture and Teaching at the University of Minnesota. [1]


Swiss grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, mostly in Aurora, Illinois, where his father had an optometric practice. He graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana, moved to Nottingham, England and returned to Illinois to work for the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1976, Swiss went to the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and earned an M.F.A. in creative writing, He taught at Drake University in Iowa, was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and published his first book of poems, Measure, with the University of Alabama Press. Swiss' next book, Rough Cut, was published by the University of Illinois Press.

Swiss' poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The American Scholar, Boston Review, AGNI, and the Iowa Review. His collaborative new media poems and literary projects have been exhibited in museums and shows, including shows at the School of Visual Arts, New York; The British Academy, UK; Transmediale.02 Festival, Berlin, Germany; and the South By Southwest New Media Festival, Austin TX.

Swiss' critical articles have appeared in the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, Popular Music, Postmodern Culture, Current Musicology, and The New England Review. His book reviews have been published in The New York Times Book Review, Contemporary Visual Arts, and other magazines.

Swiss has authored critical articles and book chapters, and edited or co-edited nine books including New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories (MIT Press, co-edited with Adalaide Morris), a collection meant to extend understanding of networked writing and programming as a medium for an emergent poetics. In Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World (U Minnesota Press, co-edited with Colleen Sheehy), Bob Dylan's work is explored in both local and global perspectives. Other books include The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory : Magic, Metaphor, Power (Routledge, co-edited with Andrew Herman) which brings together well-known scholars across the humanities and social sciences to explore the Web as a cultural technology. His recent collaborative collection (Routledge, co-edited with Andrew Herman and Jan Hadlaw) is on the topic of the imaginaries and materialities of the mobile Internet.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Anson, C., Beach, R., Breuch, L., & Swiss, T. (2009). Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools. Norwood, Massachusetts: Christopher-Gordon.[2][3]
  • Swiss, T. (Ed.). (2001). Unspun: Key concepts for understanding the World Wide Web. New York: New York University Press.[4][5]
  • Swiss, T., & Herman, A. (Eds.). (2000). The World Wide Web and contemporary cultural theory: Magic, metaphor, power. Oxford: Routledge.[6][7]
  • Swiss, T. (1997). Rough Cut: Poems. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.[8]
  • Swiss, T. New media collaborative poems, Revised November 2009


  • "I Have Made This Song": Hayden Carruth's Poetry and Criticism,, The Sewanee Review, Vol. XCIII, No. 1, Winter, 1985, pp. 149–57
  • A REVIEW OF: "", electronicbookreview, March 15, 1998, page 43
  • The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory, Andrew Herman, Thomas Swiss, Routledge, 2000 ISBN 978-0-415-92502-0
  • Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America's Greatest Rock Critic Jim Derogatis (broadway Books, 2000), popmatters
  • Artists and Innovators - Literature in a Hypermedia Mode: An interview with Marjorie Luesebrink,



It is about time that the Web and the internet are theorized this side of euphoria! The Herman and Swiss collection contains valuable meditations on the impact of the Web on society and culture, shorn of the cheerleading of Wired magazine, Negroponte, Turkle, and Gates.[12]


External references[edit]