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Poetry, Write150 Prize Judges
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 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.
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. He was Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University, England 2006-2013.
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. Swift is to be the 2017-2018 Visiting Scholar/ Writer-in-residence for Pembroke College, university of Cambridge, England. He is a convert to Roman Catholicism. He recently co-edited the international poetry anthology the Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear, 2016).