In the American Book Review, Fred Muratori described Swensen's poetry in New Math as "a collection of deft, sleight-of-hand lyrics that teased images or ideas through unpredictably widening or shifting chains of association." A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Swensen's lyrics in New Math are "elusive, obscure, nearly hallucinatory." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly called Swensen's collection Such Rich Hour, "a very long, fragment-strewn, philosophically-minded sequence."
On the Denver University Web site, Swensen described her teaching philosophy: "I stress writing as thinking—as thinking that creates new territory." She urges her students to create new material and revise it over and over, in the context of a workshop, so that they can hone their own critical abilities and will be able to see what could be improved in their work, and how to improve it. "Education is a process of expansion—expanding strategies as writers, expanding knowledge as scholars, expanding concerns as citizens. Every class should be a community in which students safely and certainly expand their worlds."
- It's Alive She Says, Floating Island Press (Point Reyes Station, CA), 1984.
- New Math, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1988.
- Park, Floating Island Publications (Point Reyes Station, CA), 1991.
- Numen, Burning Deck Press (Providence, RI), 1995.
- Noon, Sun and Moon Press (Los Angeles, CA), 1997.
- Try, University of Iowa Press (Iowa City, IA), 1999.
- Oh, Apogee Press (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
- Such Rich Hour, University of Iowa Press (Iowa City, IA), 2001.
- Pierre Alferi, Natural Gaits, Sun and Moon Press (Los Angeles, CA), 1995.
- Oliver Cadiot, Art Poetic, Green Integer (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.
- Jean Frèmon, Island of the Dead, Green Integer (Los Angeles, CA), 2002.
- Pascale Monnier, Bayart, Duration Press (New York, NY), 2002.
- Contributor to periodicals, including Chicago Review, American Poetry Review, Boston Book Review, Common Knowledge, Conjunctions, Grand Street, New American Writing, and ZYZZYVA.
- American Book Review, February, 1996, Fred Muratori, The Cadence of Disclosure, p. 21.
- American Poet, spring, 2002, review of Such Rich Hour, p. 61.
- Library Journal, June 1, 1988, Louis McKee, review of New Math, p. 116.
- Literary Review, summer, 2001, Burton Raffel, review of Try, p. 791.
- Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1988, review of New Math, p. 80; February 22, 1999, review of Try, p. 89; July 9, 2001, review of Such Rich Hour, p. 63.
- Denver University Web site, http://www.du.edu/ (July 25, 2002).
Poems By COLE SWENSEN
Articles By COLE SWENSEN
Audio & PodcastsPoem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem Talk
Where the Real Exceeds the Ideal: A Discussion of Cole Swensen's "If a Garden of Numbers" Hosted by Al Filreis and featuring Ann Seaton, Gregory Djanikian, and Michelle Taransky
LIFE SPAN 1955–