Swingler Randall

Randall Swingler

Randall Swingler (May 28, 1909 – 1967) was an English poet, who wrote extensively in the 1930s and joined the Communist Party in 1934.

He came from a well-to-do family near Nottingham and was educated at Winchester College, and New College, Oxford. He was an accomplished flautist, and later was much involved in musical collaboration, as a librettist.

He established Fore Publications (1938); the magazines Left Review (to 1938), Arena, Seven and Our Time. Swingler also published the Key Books series, and the Key Poets series. He was one of the organisers of the covert Writer's Group of the late 1930s, attempting to co-ordinate a 'literary policy' of the Left. He was involved also in work for the Unity Theatre.

He served with the British Army in Italy in World War II, joining as a private soldier, and being awarded the Military Medal. After the war he experienced hard times. Randall Swingler left the Party in 1956, was one of the founders of The New Reasoner and died on 19th June 1967.

Charles Ringrose (see separate entry) stated of Randall Swingler at the time of his death in June 1967 that:"For the very moving memorial work to those who fought in Spain, composed by Benjamin Britten in 1936, Randall contributed the text for the tenor solo and final chorale; he was associated with Alan Rawsthorne in two works the last "A Rose for Lidice" having been performed at Thaxted a few years ago, conducted by Imogen Holst.

His main work in the field, however, was done in co-operation with Alan Bush, starting with "Hunger Marchers" in the early 30s and culminating with the dream of Llewellyn up Griffith

His text for the last movement of Bush's Piano Concerto was unique as the first piece of writing in this genre, also it was Randall who was co-editor with Alan Bush of the Left Song Book published by the left Book Club in 1938".

Randall Swingler also wrote under the nom de plume of A L Carline and John Arkwright.

His publications include:

`Crucifixus (1932)  – play
`Difficult Morning (1933) – poems
`The Left Song Book, (1938) – compiled with Alan Bush
`The Years of Anger – poems
`The God in the Cave (1950) – poems

See: Comrade Heart: A Life of Randall Swingler (2003) by Andy Croft; Selected Poems of Randall Swingler (2000) edited by Andy Croft; 

Morning Star 26 June 1967

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