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Those who read this blog regularly may know it is chiefly edited by the poet, teacher, and critic, Todd Swift.

Swift's The Ministry of Emergency Situations: Selected Poems from Marick Press is being launched next week in Chicago and Detroit; it is over 200 pages long, and has endorsements from, among others, the great Terrance Hayes, Annie Finch, AF Moritz, and Mark Ford. Ford describes Swift as "the Orson Welles of Contemporary Poetry" - a pretty impressive statement (if only about weight gain) coming from one of the key poets of our time (Ford happens to be a professor of English at UCL, one of the ten best universities in the world, and his Selected was praised in the New York Times last month).

The two key events of this modest tour will take place back to back, Tuesday 23 September, 7 pm, with John Wilkinson, at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, one of the great places to read poetry in the USA - see link.  This is connected to a major new essay on four new English poets in the October issue of Poetry (Chicago). And then, he will launch the book at Oakland University, Michigan, the next evening, at a library on campus.  6.30 pm start. Both events share the stage with other fine poets, as the links will detail. See you there, as they say!

Other readings in North America are planned for the spring and summer of 2015, when teaching breaks allow.

Those poets, teachers, editors, events organisers, publishers, academics and critics who have not yet read Swift, except as the windbag he sometimes is on his blog, and on facebook, now have the happy chance to locate over 150 of his best poems in one place, edited by the Canadian poet Catherine Graham.

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