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Norman Schwenk

Book of Songs

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  • £7.99

Norman Schwenk's new collection, Book of Songs, brings together poems and song lyrics of many varieties: love songs and ballads, dance and battle songs, satires and laments; there is a march, a lullaby, a hymn, a rock-and-roll song, a Christmas carol, a birthday song, a cowboy song, and even a song for a klezmer band.
His models are the Scots bard Robbie Burns and the Essex singer-songwriter Adrian May, whom he calls his 'song-writing mentor'. He also pays homage to his American contemporary, Tom Waits, the Elizabethan song-writer, Thomas Campion, and the Victorian lyricist, W.S. Gilbert, whom he describes as 'an honorary Schwenk'.

Norman Schwenk was born and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He completed his academic studies in the United States, before moving to Sweden, and then to Cardiff in 1965 as a Lecturer in American Literature. For many years Norman taught Creative Writing at Cardiff University, before retiring from full-time teaching in 2002, to concentrate upon his own writing and publishing.

His writing has been published in various American and Welsh magazines, and Parthian has published various collections of his work. In 2004 he co-edited an anthology of poems about St Melangell, The Hare That Hides Within, which won an award as a Welsh Books Council Poetry Best-seller. In 2005 Parthian published The More Deceived: Poems about Love and Lovers, in 2015 Book of Songs, and in 2016 Love What is Mortal: Selected Poems, which brings together collections of his poems from the 1960s to the present day.