Born: November 20 1940 in Riga Latvia
Resides: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
E-mail: gswede (at) ryerson (dot) ca
George Swede began writing poetry in 1968 and published his first
poem in 1969. A serious involvement with haiku began in l976 when
the editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual asked him to
comment on Makoto Ueda’s Modern Japanese Haiku (University
of Toronto Press, 1976).
Haiku Positions: Co-founder, Haiku Canada
(1977); Guest Editor for Brussels Sprout 5:2 (1988);
Columnist for Simply Haiku (2005-2008); Assistant Editor,
Red Moon Press (2000-08); Editor, Frogpond (2008-2012).
Awards and Other Honors: Haiku Awards and Other Honors: Second Annual International Yuki Teikei Haiku Contest, Golden State Bank Award (1979); Haiku Journal, Yuki Teikei Society Award (1980); Honorable Mention, Haiku Society of America Kanterman Merit Book Awards (1978/1979/1980 for Wingbeats (1981); Featured Poet, Poetry Toronto (1981); Full Membership, League of Canadian Poets (1981); Fifth Annual High/Coo Press Mini-Chapbook Competition, Co-winner for All of Her Shadows (1982); Haiku Society of America Museum of Haiku Literature Award (1983, 1985, and co-winner, 1992); Featured Writer, What & Children’s Book News (1985); Runner-up, Wind Chimes Minibook
Competition, for I Throw Stones At The Mountain (1988); Second Prize, Haiku Quarterly Special Haiku Contest (1989); Japan Air Lines Award—trip to Japan (1990); First Prize, Free Style, Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English Contest (1993); Second Prize, Mainichi Daily News 125th Anniversary Haiku in English Contest (1997); Third Place, Haiku Society of America Harold G. Henderson Memorial Awards (1997); Japan Foundation Award—trip to Japan (1997); First Prize, The Snapshot Press Tanka Collection Competition, for First Light First Shadows (2006); Honorary
Life Membership, Haiku Canada (2007); Second Prize, Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English Contest (2008); Honorary Curator, American Haiku Archives (2008-2009); Scorpion Prize 19, Roadrunner 10:1 (2010 - judge, Marjorie Perloff); Second Prize (Tokusen),
Kusamakura International Haiku Competition (2010); Honorable Mention, Touchstone Book Awards, for Joy In Me Still (2010); First Honorable Mention, Haiku Society of America Kanterman Merit Book Awards, for Joy In Me Still (2011); Grand Prize,
Kusamakura Taisho, Kusamakura International Haiku Competition (2011); Finalist for the Dwarf Stars Award for the best short (50 lines) speculative poem (2012); Scorpion Prize 26, Roadrunner 12:2 (2012—judge, Mark Wallace); Honorable Mention, Touchstone
Distinguished Book Awards, for micro haiku: three to nine syllables (2014); Honorable Mention, Haiku Society of America Kanterman Merit Book Awards, for micro haiku: three to nine syllables (2015); First Place, Haiku Society of America
Kanterman Merit Book Awards, for Helices (2017).
Books Published: Collections of Haiku & Related Forms: Endless Jigsaw (Toronto: Three Trees Press, 1978); A Snowman, Headless (Fredericton NB: Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1979); Wingbeats (La Crosse, WI: Juniper Press, 1979); This Morning's Mockingbird (Battle Ground, IN: High/Coo Press, 1980); Eye To Eye With A Frog (La Crosse, WI: Juniper Press, 1981); All Of Her Shadows (Battle Ground, IN: High/Coo Press, 1982); Frozen Breaths (Glen Burnie, MD: Wind Chimes Press, 1983); Flaking Paint (Toronto, ON: Underwhich Editions, 1983); Bifids (Toronto, ON: CURVD H&Z Press, 1984); The Space Between [with Leroy Gorman and Eric Amann] (Glen Burnie, MD: Wind Chimes, 1986); Multiple Personality (Vancouver, BC: Silver Birch Press, 1987); I Eat a Rose Petal (Aylmer, QC, Canada: Haiku Canada, 1987, broadsheet); I Throw Stones At The Mountain (Glen Burnie, MD: Wind Chimes Press, 1988, Broadsheet); bugs (Napanee, ON: pawEpress, 1998, broadsheet); Leaving My Loneliness (Pointe Claire, QC; King's Road Press, 1992); My Shadow Doing Something (Enfield, CT: Tiny Poems Press, 1997); Almost Unseen: Selected Haiku of George Swede (Decatur, IL: Brooks Books, 2000) and translated into French by Daniel Py (see below); Zen Garden / Emergency Exit (2002); First Light, First Shadows (Liverpool, UK: Snapshot Press, 2006); Joy In Me Still (Edmonton, AB: Inkling Press, 2010) and translated into French by Daniel Py (see below); White Thoughts, Blue Mind (Edmonton, AB: Inkling Press, 2010); embryo: eye poems (Toronto: Iņšpress, 2013); Le Haïku Moderne En Anglais [Daniel Py, Trans.; Serge Tomé, Illus. & Preface] (Rosny-sous-Bois: Éditions unicité, 2013); micro haiku: three to nine syllables (2014); Helices (2016); um mosquito no meu braço (2017). Other Collections: Unwinding (Toronto, ON, Canada: Missing Link, 1974); Tell-tale Feathers (Fredericton, N. B., Canada: Fiddlehead, 1978); As Far As The Sea Can Eye (Toronto, ON, Canada: York, 1979); Biased Sample (Toronto: League of Canadian Poets, 1982, broadsheet); Tick Bird: Poems for Children (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1983); Night Tides (London, ON, Canada: South Western Ontario Poetry, 1984); Time Is Flies: Poems For Children (Toronto: Three Trees Press, 1984); High Wire Spider: Poems for Children (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1986); Leaping Lizard: Poems for Children (Stratford, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1988); Where Even the Factories Have Lawns [with JW Curry] (Toronto, ON, Canada: Gesture Press, 1988); Holes in My Cage: Poems for Young Adults (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1989); I Want to Lasso Time (Toronto, ON, Canada: Simon & Pierre, 1991); Five O'Clock Shadows [with George Amabile, Leonard Gasparini, Seymour Mayne, Ted Plantos] (Toronto, ON, Canada: Letters Bookshop, 1996). Haiku Anthologies As Editor: Canadian Haiku Anthology (Toronto: Three Trees Press, 1979 & translated into Polish by Eva Tomaszewska, Kraków: Wydawnictswo Krytyki Artsitycznej Miniatura, 2003); Cicada Voices: Selected Haiku of Eric Amann 1966-1979 (Battle Ground, IN: High/Coo Press, 1983); Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-wide [with Randy Brooks] (Hamilton, ON/ Cullercoats, Northumberland, England:Mosaic Press/Iron Press, 2000); Erotic Haiku: Of Skin On Skin [with Terry Ann Carter] (Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd., 2017). A General Poetry Anthology As Editor: The Universe is One Poem: Four Poets Talk Poetry (Toronto, ON, Canada: Simon & Pierre, 1990); There will Always be a Sky (Boston/Toronto: Houghton Mifflin/Nelson Canada, 1993). Essays on the Haiku Form: "A poet discovers haiku" - Bonsai: A Quarterly of Haiku 2:3 (1977); "The role of haiku in poetry therapy" - Cross-Canada Writers Quarterly 2:4 (1980); "The English language haiku" - Contemporary Verse Two 6:1 & 2 (1982); "The Haiku Spectrum" - Haiku in English: A poetic form expands [H. Sato, editor] (Tokyo: The Simul Press, 1987) [in Japanese]; "Elite haiku: Hybrids of nature and human content" - Modern Haiku 23:1 (1992); "Haiku in English" - mushimegane 14 (1998); "Haiku in the Year 2094" - Rediscovering Basho [S.H. Gill & C.A.Gerstle, eds.] (Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 1999); "The Haiku as a Match for Existing Western Contexts: Some Speculations" - Haiku Canada Newsletter 13:2 (2000); "Towards a Definition of the English Haiku" - Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-wide [G. Swede & R. Brooks, editors] (Cullercoats, U.K./Oakville, ON: Iron Press/Mosaic Press, 2000); "A History of the English Haiku" - Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-wide [G. Swede & R. Brooks, editors] (Cullercoats, U.K./Oakville, ON: Iron Press/Mosaic Press, 2000); "Attention, Integration and Haiku Popularity" - Gendai Haiku (Autumn, 2000); "The Mexican haiku, part 1: Origins" - [with Anita Krumins] Modern Haiku 35:1 (2004); "The Mexican haiku, part 2: After the pioneers" - [with Anita Krumins] Modern Haiku 36:1 (2005); "The mind of a plagiarist" - Frogpond: Journal of the Haiku Society of America 28:3 (2005); "Tracks in the Sand: Who Really Wrote the First Western Haiku?" - Simply Haiku: A Quarterly of Japanese Short Form Poetry 4:2 (2006); "Tracks in the Sand: Experiskinno Japanese Short Form Poetry" - Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry 5:2 (2007); Toronto Poets--5 Questions Series—George Swede. The Toronto Quarterly (online), Jan 5, (2011); Being an Editor for Literary Works - Notes From The Gean (online), Vol. 3, No. 3., (2011). Collected Essays On The Haiku: The Modern English Haiku (Toronto: Columbine Editions, 1981, 52 pp.) and translated into French by Daniel Py, 2013 (see “Books” above). Essays On Poetry In General: Poetry as therapy - Waves 4:1 (1975); Poetry for children and young adults - Canadian Author & Bookman 67:3 (1992). Essays on Poetic Development: "Poetic Innovation" - The International Handbook On Innovation [L.V. Shavinina, editor] (Oxford: Elsevier Science/Pergamon, 2003); "Why Do We Write? - Imagination in Action [C. Malyon, editor] (Toronto: Mercury Press, 2007). Children's Story Books: The Case of the Moonlit Goldust (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1979); The Case of the Missing Heirloom (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1980); Quillby, The Porcupine Who Lost His Quills [with Anita Krumins] (Toronto: Three Trees Press, 1980); The Case of the Seaside Burglaries (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1981); The Case of the Downhill Theft Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1982); Undertow (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1982); Dudley and the Birdman (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1985); Dudley and the Christmas Thief (Toronto, ON, Canada: Three Trees, 1986). Psychology Books: Creativity. A New Psychology (Toronto, ON, Canada: Wall & Emerson, 1993); (ed.), The Psychology of Art: An Experimental Approach (Toronto, ON, Canada: Canadian Scholars' Press, 1994). Poems and Prose Translated Into 22 Languages: Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
Credits: “passport check” published 24 times: Cicada 2:4 (1978) to um mosquito no meu braço (FJC Carvalho, trans., Poetas da Eufeme, 2017); “at the edge” published 22 times: A Snowman, Headless (title poem, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1978) to naad anunaad (Ramesh, K., et al., eds., Vishwakarma, 2016); “around the eyes” published 10 times: Arc (1984) to Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing (Rosenstock, G., ed., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009): “alone at last’ published 19 times: Modern Haiku (1994) to Haiku in English (Kacian, J. et al., Norton, 2013); “wildflowers” published 5 times: The Heron’s Nest 12:1 (2010) to Haiku in English (Kacian, J. et al., eds. Norton, 2013); “tidal pools” published 2 times: Frogpond (2016) and dust devils (Kacian, J., ed., Red Moon Press 2017).