Swift's Budavox: poems 1990-1999 explored sex, violence, art, and memory, to critical acclaim. His new collection, Café Alibi, written while the author lived abroad in Budapest and Paris, extends these concerns to include popular culture, history, desire, nostalgia, and the often competing claims of travel and home. Swift's crisp, elegant, deceptively calm language questions images of 'the child, the adult and the outside world' in ways both witty and disturbing. Café Alibi maps a stylish itinerary through exotic terrain, offering at once hostility and ultimate peace, poetry that puts love to the test and disarms our darkest fears.
Todd Swift was born in Montreal on Good Friday, 1966. He is the author or editor of seven books of poetry. During his college years he was a champion debater, and upon graduation wrote many hours of TV. In 1997 he was given the Young Quebecer of the Year Award in the Arts and Education category, for his poetry projects. From 1998-2001 he was Visiting Lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, specializing in courses on poetry and film. In late 2001 he moved to Paris where he lived and wrote for two years. His work has appeared on stage and radio in many countries. He has been poetry editor of nthposition.com since 2002. In 2003 he was editorial coordinator for Poets Against The War. He has reviewed for Books in Canada, Poetry London, and The Dubliner, among others. He lives in London, England, with his wife.
“This slim edition ... contains elegant, swift poems — precise as shards of glass.”
— Bridget Hourican,The Dubliner Nov. 2002
“Swift writes exquisitely about everyday experiences, changing the base metal of our existence into something fine and valuable.”
— Tony Lewis-Jones, Poetry Scotland
“[Swift] arranges that formal, renegade language into an entirely believable, and often lovely, alibi.”
— Lisa Pasold, Literary Review of Canada, Dec. 2002
“These are the words of a poet where words are ... lavishly seemingly uncontrolled but finally right, fitting, suitably apt.”
— Harriet Zinnes, The Hollins Critic, June 2003
“Were a director like Jean-Luc Goddard to create a full-length feature film from a collection of poems, Café Alibi would be the perfect choice. ”
— Vallum, Fall-Winter 2005
“...a collection that is both colourful and sharply crafted. Café Alibi feels packed somehow, a kind of suitcase of stylish imagery for the elegant traveler. Here are poems infused by Budapest and Paris, and written in a brilliantly intriguing way.... It’s an impressive collection.”
— Leviathan Quarterly, 2003
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