Poetry by Todd Swift

Rue du Regard

Rue du Regard

Todd Swift is one of Canada’s leading younger expatriate writers. Elegant, moving, and masterful, Rue du Regard forms the final part of a trilogy, following the acclaimed Budavox and Café Alibi. Written in Paris and London between 2001 and 2004, Rue du Regard crosses the channel between these two great cities and between two kinds of poetry: experimental and mainstream. The book deals with looking: in, out, back, and ahead. In almost whiplash motion, certain moods, themes, and images from Swift’s earlier collections here snap forward, double-back. The universal accidents of travel and memory, love and desire, violence and innocence, are central.

Critical Comment

“In this collection, Todd Swift – always engagingly readable – extends his ambitious and dazzling range of skills and styles. ”

— Roddy Lumsden, author of Mischief Night: New and Selected Poems

“Todd Swift has a remarkably capacious imagination.”

–Montreal Review of Books, 2004

“Swift perfects the irreverence of his humour.”



“We are lucky to have him overseas contributing to this impressive catalogue of written work.... Finally and most tellingly, Swift asks in A Good Person in Snow: ‘Is it wrong to hold ever tighter as you disappear?’ The answer is no. Swift writes as if he is about to emerge from the blizzard and tell everyone how he did it. A shape shifter with a heart for Canada. Swift is one to recall, savour, and watch.”

–The Globe and Mail, March 2005

“One of Swift’s endearing qualities is that he pays as much attention to the small people in his life, as he does to his mentors and great artists.... Swift‘s best poems are restrained, tight-lipped and tempered, yet full of sombre and subtle allusion.”

–Books in Canada, Feb. 2005

“Infused with pop culture, Western Europe ... the poems move with their energetic author. Blog-worthy... ”

–This Magazine, Jan-Feb 2005


“Musicality hardly begins to describe this rather colossal collection.... ”

— Vallum , Fall-Winter 2005

Author Todd Swift

Author Biography

Todd Swift was born in Montreal and grew up in St. Lambert. He served on two occasions as The Canadian League of Poets’ representative for Quebec. His poetry series Vox Hunt (1995-97) was hailed by The Globe & Mail as “virtually unique in North America.” From 1998-2000, he was the Visiting Lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, specializing in courses on poetry and film. In 2001, he moved to Paris, then to London, England, where he earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from The University of East Anglia. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry Review, The Guardian, and New American Writing, as well as on ABC, BBC, CBC, and RTE radio. He is poetry editor of Nthposition.com and edited the e-book 100 Poets Against the War (2003). He has reviewed for Books in Canada, Poetry London, and The Dubliner, among others, and has been Oxfam Great Britain’s Poet In Residence since 2004. His latest publication is a collection of essays entitled Language Acts (Vehicule, 2007), the first major study of Anglo-Quebec poetry in over 40 years, co-edited with Jason Camlot. Swift lives in London, England, with his wife Sara.

Rue du Regard, Todd Swift, 84 pp., 5x 8, Poetry, July 2004

ISBN: 0-919688-11-x (paper)...$14.95

ISBN: 0-919688-13-6, (Bound)* ... $26.95

* This book is “perfect bound” with an add-on
hard cover, no dust jacket.

List prices above do NOT include applicable taxes, shipping, and handling charges. Prices to the left DO!

Also by the Author

Budavox, 94 pp., 5 x 8, August 1999, Poetry — ISBN: 0-919688-46-2 (paper) ... $13.95 — ISBN: 0-919688-48-9 (Bound) ... $26.95

Café Alibi, 76 pp., 5 x 8, August 2002, Poetry — ISBN: 0-919688-53-5 (paper) ... $14.95 — ISBN: 0-919688-55-1 (Bound) ... $26.95

Winter Tennis,102 pp., 5 x 8, Poetry, July, 2007 — ISBN: 978-1-897190-29-6 (paper) ... $16.95 — ISBN: 978-1-897190-30-2 (Bound*)... $29.95

The Moosehead Anthology X: Future Welcome, ed. Todd Swift, 205 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, December 2005, Anthology — ISBN: 1-897190-06-9 (paper) ... $18.95

[Rue du Regard] is a carefully wrought package... There is some clever wordsmithing going on in these pages... linguistic panache.... Swift is talented.”

–Montreal Gazette, Jan. 2005

“Todd Swift might be thought of as a cosmopolitan, ... savvy, well read, travelled poet ... a promising poet whose work is entertaining, ingenious, humorous and likeable....”

–Poetry London, No. 50, Spring 2005

“[Swift’s] poems cry out for a much wider audience. And if the next big Bloodaxe anthology doesn’t contain at least a couple of them, it will be a poorer book for their absence.

In Rue du Regard, his third full collection, Swift's work continues to mature. ... In ‘To My Wife Of Ninety Days’ Swift shows that he is one of those rare poets who can almost always write unsentimentally about love.

Swift is still a million miles from becoming one of those worthy-but-dull middle-aged male poets of which the poetry world sometimes seems to be full. The hilarious satire, ‘Note To The Editor’, is a poem I’m jealous I didn’t write myself. ... The beautifully achieved ‘Cinéma Du Look’ is the sort of voyeuristic poem, which, in hands of a lesser poet than Swift, could easily have turned out vulgar.

Where others would be po-faced and over-earnest, Swift’s poems are disciplined by irony; where most would lapse into crudity he somehow manages to be lyrical. These are hugely important talents for a contemporary poet. But perhaps as important is the stark emotional honesty displayed in ‘Ballad Of The Solitary Diner’, a description of the occasional loneliness of a life lived on the cusp of so many cultures.”

–Kevin Higgins, The Dublin Quarterly, #3, 2005

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