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|Born||April 8, 1966|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Occupation||Poet, editor, publisher and critic|
|Alma mater||Concordia University|
Swift was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 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 an active parliamentary debater and ran the international cabaret Vox Hunt, which featured amongst others regular performances by Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. As a young man, Swift was friends with rising literary stars including Misha Glouberman, Heather O'Neill and David McGimpsey. He 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 children's animation) for HBO, Paramount, Hanna-Barbera, Fox, Cinar and DIC Entertainment, and was story editor for many episodes of anime show Sailor Moon. He also worked at General Media, Inc. (Penthouse) for several years as a writer and editor of erotica.
Swift is the author of nine full collections of poetry; his Selected Poems is from Marick Press, USA. He is also a prolific anthologist and editor. His poems have been widely translated and are included in respected journals such as Poetry, The Globe and Mail, Poetry London and The Guardian.
From 2004-2012 he was Oxfam Great Britain's Poet-in-residence, running their poetry series in London and editing books, a DVD and CDs. Swift has been 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 has taught at the University of Glasgow. He is a convert to Roman Catholicism. From 2005 Swift has run the literary blog Eyewear and since 2012 has been director and publisher of the indie press Eyewear Publishing, founded in 2012. From 2017–2018 he was Visiting Scholar/ Writer-in-residence for Pembroke College, Cambridge, England.
In July 2018, following an interview with the president of the writers' union the Society of Authors, controversy arose concerning potentially unfair template contracts which they had received, which 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.
After bring nominated for Oxford University professor of poetry, poets Claire Trévien and Aaron Kent issued a joint statement calling Swift unsuitable for the role due to "various accounts of his behaviour available with a simple Google/Twitter search, including the Bookseller’s report on his contracts interfering with authors’ civil rights, and the report on his behaviour through Vida."
Poetry (selected pamphlets)
- 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)
- 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
- Spring In Name Only – 2020
Anthologies (editor or co-editor)
- 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
- Interview with Todd Swift Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine (Argotist Online)
- "Todd Swift - Biography - IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- Flood, Alison (2019-05-23). "Oxford poetry professor contest kicks off amid growing controversy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
- "Alice Oswald elected as new Oxford Professor of Poetry | University of Oxford". www.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-06-21.