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Cole Swensen


photograph courtesy of Kaplan Harris

PoemTalk Podcast #52, discussing Cole Swensen's "If a Garden of Numbers," May 3, 2012

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.


Segue Series Reading at the Zinc Bar, March 11, 2017

  1. Jocelyn Spaar’s Introduction (03:21): MP3
  2. About On Walking On (00:41): MP3
  3. Rousseau: The Reveries Of A Solitary Walker (01:51): MP3
  4. Thoreau: Walking (01:36): MP3
  5. Sand: Promenades Auteur D’Un Village (01:22): MP3
  6. Woolf: “Street Haunting” (01:45): MP3
  7. Walser: The Walk (01:20): MP3
  8. Sebald: The Rings of Saturn (01:23): MP3
  9. Robertson: “Seven Walks” (02:14): MP3
  10. On Karen Randall’s The Leyden Jar Project (01:10): MP3
  11. Thunderhouses (00:43): MP3
  12. The Leyden Jar (00:54): MP3
  13. The Kite (01:12): MP3
  14. Beatification (00:35): MP3
  15. The Electric Fortune Teller (00:47): MP3
  16. Montgolfière Balloon (01:12): MP3
  17. The Electric Kiss (01:10): MP3
  18. Gave (01:15): MP3
  • Complete Recording (27:59): MP3

Reading for Double Change, Paris, December 20, 2010

Reading as part of the Cross-Cultural Poetics Series, Olympia, January 14, 2010

  1. Introduction and discussion of the Le Notre Gardens (5:12): MP3
  2. Brief note on the style of A Garden Is a Start (1:40): MP3
  3. A Garden Is a Start (3:12): MP3
  4. Discussion of the language of fact in poetry (8:05): MP3
  5. Paradise (0:56): MP3
  6. Discussion of gardens as dominion over nature (2:43): MP3
  7. Discussion of the geometry of the Le Notre gardens (3:38): MP3
  8. If a Garden of Numbers (1:23): MP3
  9. Introductory discussion to Versailles the Unfurled (2:53): MP3
  10. Versailles the Unfurled (3:56): MP3
  11. Dicussion of fountains and water as a public and private commdity (5:42): MP3
  12. Keeping Track of Distance (with a brief introduction) (1:40): MP3
  13. Closing comments (2:04): MP3

Complete Reading (43:03): MP3

Reading as part of the Holloway Series, Berkeley, February 20, 2007

  1. Introduction (1:38): MP3
  2. Complete reading (41:15): MP3
  3. Questions (9:49): MP3

Reading as part of the Belladonna* Reading Series, New York, November 17, 2006

  • Complete reading (6:12): MP3

Reading as part of the Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York, January 8, 2005

  1. Introduction (03:28): MP3
  2. The Baroque Garden (00:55): MP3
  3. The Garden As Middle Ages (01:09): MP3
  4. On Vaux-le-Vicomte (00:28): MP3
  5. Further Notes on the Collusion of Time and Space (01:52): MP3
  6. If A Garden Of Numbers (01:21): MP3
  7. Vaux-le-Vicomte, Water (01:22): MP3
  8. Into Mirror Enter Air (00:51): MP3
  9. Labyrinths And Mazes (01:29): MP3
  10. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) (01:31): MP3
  11. Euclid’s Eighth Theorem (01:10): MP3
  12. The Hand As Historical (00:39): MP3
  13. Hold (00:38): MP3
  14. Juggle (00:43): MP3
  15. The Hand As Anchor (00:28): MP3
  16. The Hand That Caresses (00:46): MP3
  17. The Hand As Origami ((00:27): MP3
  18. The Hand As Ideogram: MP3
  19. The Thumb: Based On (00:50): MP3
  20. The Intern’s Problem (00:56): The Intern's Problem
  21. The Fist (00:21): MP3
  • Complete reading (24:43): MP3

Reading as part of the Left Hand Reading Series, Boulder, April 7, 2000

  1. Introduction (2:13): MP3
  2. Complete reading (16:10): MP3

Reading as part of the Left Hand Reading Series, Boulder, March 11, 1999

  1. Introduction (1:25): MP3
  2. How Photography Has Changed the Human Face (4:58): MP3
  3. Water Water (4:34): MP3
  4. A Thousand Ghost Stories About My Grandfather (1:45): MP3
  5. Is (2:40): MP3
  6. Blind Spot (3:03): MP3
  7. March 3 (2:23): MP3
  8. March: The Third Lesson (0:47): MP3
  9. March 15: Nocturne (0:46): MP3
  10. March 25, 1472-75: The Annunciation, Leonardo da Vinci (1:35): MP3
  11. May 30, 1427: Joan-not-yet-saint with Sheep (1:33): MP3
  12. August 1424: The First Dance Macabre (1:43): MP3
  13. August 1427: Abundance (1:13): MP3
  14. October 4, 1451: Paolo Uccello Examines the Sky (1:50): MP3
  15. October 28, 1449: The Translation of the Relics of St. Jean in Anticipation of the End of the Hundred Years' War (1:17): MP3
Complete reading (30:21): MP3

Appearing at the New Coast Festival, New Freedoms, April 9, 1993

  • Swensen reading (14:12): MP3
  • Complete Recording (1:57:29): MP3

New Coast Reading, Buffalo, April 1, 1993

  • Complete reading (18:45): MP3

Reading for Incognito Lounge at Canessa Park Gallery, San Francisco, October 3, 1991

  • Complete reading (28:14): MP3


Cole Swensen on PennSound Daily



These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2017 Cole Swensen. Used with the permission of Cole Swensen. Distributed by PennSound.