Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Poetic Obituaries: By then, [Mark] Swift had won

the Ingrid Jonker Prize for his 1974 debut volume, Treading Water (David Philip), edited by Jack Cope. In 1978 he produced Gentlewoman with photographer Sigurd Olivier, which was at first banned in South Africa. Published by Grosset & Dunlap in New York and later by Don Nelson, it was a selection of poetry and images by two artists who shared a fascination with sex and seduction. Seconds Out (Bateleur Press) followed in 1983 and in 1987 he won the Thomas Pringle Prize for poetry, and his work has appeared in anthologies of South African poetry since.

When we knew Mark best, in the 1980s, he was past his zenith and clearly frustrated, the bulk of his output being his journalism. He spent his working days correcting the words of others more than conjuring his own.

from Tonight: Romantic poet who battled his demons


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