Is Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department about ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn?

Bee Delores
Taylor Swift in black and white overlooking a body of water

Taylor Swift announced her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, and fans are speculating that it could be about her ex Joe Alwyn.

Taylor Swift revealed that her 11th all-original album would be released on April 19. Titled The Tortured Poets Department, the 16-track project features four vinyl variants, each with an exclusive bonus track, and other special bundles.

Less than two years since Midnights, Swift’s latest LP boasts two must-hear collaborators. Florence + the Machine appears on ‘Florida!!!’ while Post Malone makes an appearance on the album opener ‘Fortnight.’

With the album announcement, fans speculated about the album’s themes, musical scope, and who it could be about. Knowing Swift, she kept her biggest secrets as tiny clues buried deep within the album’s many intricate layers.

Taylor Swift wearing a black cape and performing onstage during her Eras Tour
Swift performs during her Eras Tour

Who is Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department about?

Taylor Swift fans deduced that the singer’s forthcoming 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, could be about one former flame, in particular. None other than British actor Joe Alwyn may take centerstage on an album that serves as the follow-up to the ‘Anti-Hero’ juggernaut, Midnights.

A look at the tracklist tells one potential story. Song titles like ‘So Long, London’ indicate Swift took a snapshot with Tortured Poets of her life with and after Alwyn.

Other songs, including ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys’ and ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,’ suggest that the singer-songwriter will not veer off course in exposing an ex.

An “insider” told OK! magazine that Swift needed to “express herself” and that included throwing a few lyrical arrows in Alwyn’s direction. “She’d be lying if she said she didn’t get some pleasure out of making these guys squirm,” an insider revealed about the upcoming album.

“Taylor realizes she stayed with Joe way past the expiration date,” they continued. “She changed for him, but he wouldn’t change for her.”

Why was the singer lonely while dating Joe Alwyn?

During the February 17, 2024 stop on her Eras Tour, Swift confessed she was quite lonely during the making of folklore, on which Alwyn wrote several songs.

The pair were reportedly in quarantine together, so it gives a glimpse into their relationship and why they eventually broke up. Perhaps they just were not a good fit.

“[I was] imagining that, instead of being a lonely millennial woman covered in cat hair drinking my weight in white wine, I was a ghostly Victorian lady wandering through the woods with a candle in a candlestick holder,” Swift told the screaming crowd about writing folklore. “And I wrote only on parchment with a feathered quill.”

With The Tortured Poets Department looming weeks away, speculation intensified online about Joe Alwyn and his post-breakup influence on Taylor Swift’s creative headspace.

“The Tortured Poets Department is abt joe alwyn,” declared one fan.

“Just to let everyone know. When ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ releases Joe Alwyn is done for. I’ll deal with him myself,” said another.

“The Tortured Poets Department is what Joe Alwyn gets for seven years in heaven,” wrote a third.

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Bee has been working in the digital media space for a decade. Their work can be found in American Songwriter, Billboard, and In addition to music writing, they can be found penning editorials about their favorite spooky movies. You can contact them at