Todd Swift

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Todd Swift
Stanley Todd Swift

(1966-04-08) April 8, 1966 (age 52)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
ResidenceUnited Kingdom
NationalityCanadian British
Alma materConcordia University
OccupationPoet, editor, publisher and critic

Todd Swift (born April 8, 1966) is a British-Canadian poet, university teacher, editor, critic, and publisher based in the United Kingdom.


Swift was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada,[1] and raised in Saint-Lambert, Quebec. He received a B.A. in English from Concordia University (Montreal) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia. He became British on April 3, 2013, at Westminster Town Hall, Marylebone, London.

While attending university, Swift was one of Canada's most successful parliamentary debaters. He was President of the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate and twice won the award for Top Speaker at the McGill University Winter Carnival Debating Tournament, as well as many other awards. In Montreal, he also ran the international cabaret, Vox Hunt, which featured, among others, regular performances by Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. As a young man, Swift was friends with a number of Canada's rising literary stars, including Misha Glouberman, Heather O'Neill, and David McGimpsey. Swift was also half of the electronic music-poetry duo Swifty Lazarus, also featuring composer-trombonist Tom Walsh. In the 1990s, Swift wrote hundreds of hours of television (mostly animation) for HBO, Paramount, Hanna-Barbera, Fox, Cinar and DIC Entertainment, and was story editor for many episodes of anime show Sailor Moon.[2] He also worked for editor Ned Hartley at General Media, Inc. (Penthouse) for several years as a writer and editor of erotica.

Swift is the author of nine full trade collections of poetry, published in America, Canada, England and Ireland; his Selected Poems is from Marick Press, USA. He is also a prolific anthologist, and editor of other poets' work. His poems have been translated into Arabic, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Korean and Macedonian. He has written for a number of publications, poems and reviews appearing in journals such as Poetry, The Globe and Mail, Poetry London and The Guardian.

In 2004 he was Oxfam Great Britain's Poet-in-residence, running their poetry series in London, and editing books, a DVD and three CDs to help raise funds for the charity, retiring from this work in 2012. Swift is a tutor with The Poetry School. He was Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University, England 2006–2013, having previously lectured at Budapest University (ELTE), London Met, and Birkbeck. He also has taught at the University of Glasgow. He is a convert to Roman Catholicism.

From 2005 on Swift has run the literary blog Eyewear. The blog is archived by the British Library. He is Director and Publisher of the indie press Eyewear Publishing Ltd. which was founded in 2012. He has an entry in The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (2013) which seeks to list the most influential poets of the last 100 years writing in the English language.

In 2013 it was reported in the British media that Swift had liquids poured on him from the window of a London hotel, allegedly by at least one member of the famous boy band The Wanted.[3][4]

Swift is to be the 2017–2018 Visiting Scholar/ Writer-in-residence for Pembroke College, Cambridge, England.

In July 2018, Swift was accused by the Society of Authors of imposing unfair contracts that forbade Eyewear Publishing authors from seeking help from the society. Swift stated that the contracts were negotiable and the particular clause could be removed if requested.[5]


Poetry (selected pamphlets)[edit]

  • The End of the Century – 1990
  • The Cone of Silence – 1991
  • American Standard – 1996
  • Elegy for Anthony Perkins – 2001
  • The Oil and Gas University – 2004
  • Natural Curve – 2006
  • Unfinished Study of a French Girl – 2014
  • Madness & Love in Maida Vale – 2016
  • Dream-beauty-psycho – 2017
  • We Are All Weak & Crazy When We Would Repent - 2018

Poetry (full collections)[edit]

  • Budavox – 1999
  • Café Alibi – 2002
  • Rue du Regard – 2004
  • Winter Tennis – 2007
  • Seaway: New & Selected Poems – 2008
  • Mainstream Love Hotel – 2009
  • England Is Mine – 2011
  • When All My Disappointments Came At Once – 2012
  • The Ministry of Emergency Situations: Selected Poems – 2014

Anthologies (editor or co-editor)[edit]

  • Map-makers' Colours: New Poets of Northern Ireland – 1988
  • Poetry Nation: The North American Anthology of Fusion Poetry – 1998
  • Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry – 2002
  • 100 Poets Against the War – 2003
  • In the Criminal's Cabinet – 2004
  • Future Welcome: The Moosehead Anthology X – 2005
  • Life Lines: Poets for Oxfam – 2006 (Audio CD)
  • Life Lines 2: Poets for Oxfam – 2007 (Audio CD)
  • Poems For Children: Michael Rosen and friends, 41 Poets for Oxfam – 2008 (Audio CD, with Judith Nicholls)
  • Asking A Shadow To Dance: 35 Young British Poets For Oxfam – 2009 (DVD)
  • Modern Canadian Poets: An Anthology – 2010
  • Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam – 2012
  • The Poet's Quest For God – 2016


  1. ^ Interview with Todd Swift Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine (Argotist Online)
  2. ^ "Todd Swift - Biography - IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2015-03-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2015-03-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ [1]

External links[edit]