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Saturday, 5 January 2013

10 Years Of Todd

Yes, it is that time - the 10th anniversary of Todd Swift (editor of Eyewear the blog and the publishers) arriving in London, England.  He's been living among you ever since, as a permanent, landed immigrant, on his way to citizenship.  Ten years is a mighty long time, and it started with the 2003 anti-war campaign via Nthposition, 100 Poets Against The War, that resulted in the fastest-ever global anthology, from Salt, as covered on CNN.  Sadly, the war went ahead.

Next, as poetry editor of Nthposition, the infamous weird online magazine for most of the past decade, he published around a thousand poets; he completed an MA and PhD at UEA; was Oxfam poet-in-residence in 2004 via Arts Council funding; hosted hundreds of poets at the Oxfam reading series; put out three CDs and a DVD of poets reading for Oxfam, and also the recent anthology from Cinnamon/Eyewear, Lung Jazz.  Edited numerous books, and finally published a UK book, from Tall-Lighthouse, in 2009, after an Irish New and Selected in 2008.  In 2012, his poetry was gathered by the prestigious Poetry Archive.  Meanwhile, he was mentoring, and workshop-leading with, dozens of rising and emerging poets of brilliance, including Emily Berry, Helen Mort, Phil Brown, and Liz Berry.  During this decade, poems of his have appeared in The Saturday Guardian, Poetry Review, Poetry London, Magma, and many others.

He has taught literary theory and creative writing at London Met, Birkbeck, and since 2006, the Kingston Writing School, Kingston University.  Oh, and he has remained a gadfly and cheerleader, for British poetry, urging greater openness, but never taking a side for kneejerk reasons: lyrical disruption, or rhyming couplet, or slam poem, what matters is that the poem in question is doing the best it can, under its own set terms; see his reviews in Poetry London and Poetry Review, and blog posts, say for Best American Poetry, for more on this.
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