A Poet's Home on the Internet

Poet Wally Swist speaks at the
University of Connecticut, March 25, 2009
Matt Lin/UConn Daily Campus

Wally Swist's most recent books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as a co-winner in the Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Competition, and Winding Paths Worn through Grass, selected by Steven Schroeder and the Editorial Board of Virtual Artists Collective.

buy ETH Southern Illinois University Press published Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love in August 2012. A link to the Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Competition and Southern Illinois University Press is: http://www.CrabOrchardReview.siuc.edu/conpo2.html. Virtual Artists Collective, of Chicago, Illinois, published Winding Paths Worn through Grass in June 2012. The link to their website is: http://vacpoetry.org.

Swist's poems have most recently appeared, or are forthcoming, in a variety of journals and anthologies, including American Society: What Poets See (Cave Springs, GA: FutureCycle Press, 2012), Appalachia: America's Longest-Running Journal of Mountaineering & Conservation, Connecticut Review, Crab Orchard Review, From the Other World: Poems in Memory of James Wright (Duluth, MN: Lost Hills Books, 2008), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013), Sunken Garden Poetry: 1992-2011 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2012), Solace in So Many Words (Lindenhurst, IL: Hourglass Books, 2011), Spiritus (issued from The Johns Hopkins University Press), Theodate (the online poetry journal of the Hill-Stead Museum), Wild River Review, and Written River.

He also served as an editor for Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker, illustrated by Olga Larionova, adapted by Susan Dunlap, produced by Dan Talmi, and designed by Aldo Gonzalez (Pittsfield, MA: The Moscow Ballet/Talmi Entertainment), which is due to be published in hardcover in November 2012. The website address for the Moscow Ballet is: www.nutcracker.com/.

The Wrirters' Fund Committee of PEN American Center, of New York City, approved a grant for funding Swist in June 2012. The website address for this eminent "association of writers and editors working to advance literature to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship" is: www.pen.org/.

Also, the Author's League Fund, of New York City, announced an award of financial aid for him in June 2012. The assistance is provided by The Emergency Relief Program of the Authors Guild Foundation, Inc., which was first established by The Author's League of America, Inc., in 1917. The website address for this humanitarian and literary organization is: www.authorsleaguefund.org.

buy Dash in Hong Kong In addition, in May 2012, he was awarded a Philip Whalen Memorial Grant from Poets in Need, of Berkeley, California, whose link is: www.poetsinneed.org/. Poets in Need is a non-profit organization, founded in 2000, that provides emergency assistance to poets "who have an established presence in the literary community and a substantive body of work."

Andrew McGowan, President of the William Butler Yeats Society of New York City, announced in March 2012 that the poem "The Grace of It" was awarded second prize by the 2012 judge, Bill Zavatsky. The poem since its being entered into the contest has been retitled as "Velocity," and this finished version will be published in the William Butler Yeats Society of New York City newsletter announcing this year's winners and honorable mention designees. The link for the W. B. Yeats Society is: www.yeatssociety.org/.

Well-respected journalist Steve Pfarrer published a feature article in the Friday, February 3, 2012 (Vol. 46, No. 11) issue of the Amherst Bulletin, entitled "A Visit to Wally Swist's World: Award-winning poet inspired by nature, spirituality." The website address is: www.gazettenet.com/amherstbulletin.

Also, the new Timberline Press, Co-edited by Steven Schroeder and his daugher Regina Schroeder, will publish Blessing and Homage, a collection of twenty-four new and recent poems, in a letterpress limited edition. It will be the first volume to be published in the new Timberline Press series. Their link is: www.timberlinepress.com/.

A previous book, entitled Luminous Dream, a collection of fifty-one love poems, was a finalist for the 2010 FutureCycle Poetry Book Award. The link to this significant independent press is: www.futurecycle.org/.

invest in Cosmos in Hong Kong In 2011, two of his poems were nominated for Pushcart Prizes: "Recognition" was nominated by the editors of FutureCycle and "Backlit in a Wash of Light" was nominated by the editors of EarthSpeak.

He has read his work thoughout New England, including in the Distinguished Lecture Series at the Lenox Library, in Lenox, Massachusetts, a series hosted by Boston University Professor Jeremy Yudkin; at the 20th Anniversary of western Massachusetts Recycling, to open the program for keynote speaker Massachusetts Senator Stan Rosenberg, followed by Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno; in Julia de Burgos Park, in Willimantic, Connecticut, an event sponsored by Curbstone Press; and in a reading entitled Poets Living in New England (Creative Session) at the 40th Anniversary of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), in Boston.

A recording of a poem ("Ode to the Omelette"), from his performance in the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, accompanied by jazz cellist Eugene Friesen, a member of the Paul Winter Consort, held at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut, is archived at npr.org. The poem was originally aired nationally on Scott Simon's Weekend Edition Saturday and introduced by NPR host Linda Wertheimer. The archived link for this is: www.npr.org/programs/wesat/features/2003/sunkengarden/.

He is a recipient of two Artist Fellowships in Poetry from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1978 and 2003) as well as two back-to-back one-year writing residencies (2003-2005) at Fort Juniper, the home of the late Robert Francis. A documentary film regarding his work, primarily shot at Fort Juniper, In Praise of the Earth: The Poetry of Wally Swist, was released by filmmaker Elizabeth Wilda (Hadley, Massachusetts: WildArts, 2008). A link for the film is: www.amherstcinema.org/films-and-events/praise-earth.

A recent chapbook of his poetry, Mount Toby Poems, published in a letterpress limited edition in 2009 by Timberline Press, of Fulton, Missouri, was chosen by Clarence Wolfshohl, the founder of the press, as the final volume published by him in the press's thirty-five year publishing history. It was the third collection Timberline Press published of Swist's poetry in a letterpress limited edition.

An earlier full-length book, The New Life (West Hartford, Connecticut: Plinth Books, 1998), was chosen twice by Small Press Distribution (SPD) for their list of poetry Best-sellers, in November 2007 and in March/April 2009. The link for Plinth Books is: www.plinthbooks.org/index.html.

He is also the author of a scholarly monograph, The Friendship of Two New England Poets, Robert Frost and Robert Francis: A Lecture Presented at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire (Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009).
Their link is: www.mellenpress.com/.

He has taught in the Connecticut Poetry-in-the-Schools Program and was a mentor and teacher, for several years, in the Night of Fresh Voices Program, in which he worked with gifted high school students, through the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut.

His books and papers are archived in Special Collections at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts and in the American Haiku Archives in the State Library of California, in Sacramento, California.

Complete bibliography

[Updated 4 September 2012]

Primary links