I am a freelance writer, specialising in English-language teaching and related matters.

Some of my books:

  • Practical English Usage (OUP 2005)
  • How English Works (OUP 1997), with Catherine Walter
  • The Good Grammar Book (OUP 2001), with Catherine Walter
  • Grammar (OUP 2005)
  • The New Cambridge English Course (CUP 1990–1993), with Catherine Walter
  • Grammar Scan (OUP 2008), with David Baker
  • The Oxford English Grammar Course  (OUP 2011),with Catherine Walter
  • Thinking about Language Teaching: Selected Articles 1982–2011 (OUP 2012)

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I am happy to correspond on matters related to my work. However, I'm afraid I don't have time to give  information about English grammar and usage, or to offer advice on questions of language study, and I won't be able to answer emails on these matters.


The Shape of Things

I write and publish poetry, perhaps as a desperate attempt to prove that even grammarians have souls.

My first collection ‘When They Come For You’ was published by Frogmore Press in 2003 and was very well received. My second collection, 'The Shapes of Things, was recently published by Oversteps Books.

Some reactions to my poetry:

  • “The beauty of Michael Swan’s writing is the artifice beneath its deliberate simplicity. … The careless may miss the rich seams of absurdity and irony.”
    (Will Daunt, Envoi)
  • “A sharp, wryly observed collection, intelligent and perceptive… There’s a nicely surreal edge to much of the work, but it’s poetry that remains open and accessible.”
    (Catherine Smith, The New Writer)
  • “Merci pour la simplicité malicieuse de tes textes.”
    (Vincent Cobès)


Read my poetry or Buy the books.