Richard Swigg (1938-2017)
Richard Swigg was a great friend of PennSound, editing our extensive sound recording collections of Williams, Bunting, Tomlinson, Oppen, and Replansky. His work was thorough, with the aim of archiving all the audio recordings of these poets. He was tireless in his efforts — he spent decades assembling the recordings — and worked with us in securing permission to make these recordings available on PennSound.
I very much looked forward to seeing Richard again at Penn this spring; he was coming to the Pound conference at the invitation of Emily Wallace. I met Richard only once, a couple of years ago, when he came to my house. But I had an extensive correspondence with him, over the past decade, on the recordings he edited for PennSound. His work, as a scholar and editor, was invaluable to me and all of us interested in the poets he championed and to the importance of audio recordings of poets. Richard urged Al Filreis and I to visit one-hundred-year-old Naomi Replansky, whom he had recorded for PennSound. We did and that was a great experience for us.
Richard Swigg was born on September 5, 1938. He died last week, following a stroke, according to his daughter, Virginia. He received his BA from the University of Liverpool in 1963 and his PhD at the University of Bristol in 1966. He was a Lecturer and the Senior Lecturer in the English department at Keele University from 1966 to 2000. His books include Lawrence, Hardy and American Literature (1972), Charles Tomlinson and the Objective Tradition (1994), Look with the Ears: Charles Tomlinson’s Poetry of Sound (2002), and Quick, Said the Bird: Williams, Eliot, Moore, and the Spoken Word.