Poets and Critics

2011-2014 CALENDAR


February 4-5 EILEEN MYLES > + Feb. 4 poetry reading


December 14-15 FRED MOTEN > + Dec. 14 poetry reading


December 15-16 ANN LAUTERBACH > + Dec. 15, 8pm poetry reading

May 12-13 ANNE WALDMAN > + May 12 Poetry Reading, 8pm, Maison de la poésie de Paris : Anne Waldman & Patrick Beurard-Valdoye


FINAL SYMPOSIUM Dec. 11-12 COLE SWENSEN > + Dec 11 Poetry Reading, 8pm, Maison de la poésie de Paris : Cole Swensen & Nicolas Pesquès

Sept. 26-27 CLARK COOLIDGE> + Sept. 26, 8 pm Poetry/Music Reading, CLARK COOLIDGE & THURSTON MOORE, Maison de la poésie de Paris

April 11-12 MARJORIE WELISH > + April 11, 7:30 pm Poetry Reading MARJORIE WELISH & JACQUES ROUBAUD, Galerie éof, Paris


December 13 & 14 LISA ROBERTSON> Thursday December 13 7:30pm poetry reading with Lisa Robertson, Anne Parian and Pascal Poyet, galerie éof, Paris.

September 27 & 28 REDELL OLSEN

May 29 & 30 PETER GIZZI



September 29-30 VANESSA PLACE at Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée

June 30 July 1 CAROLINE BERGVALL at Université Paris Est Créteil

June 15 DAVID ANTIN at Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée

Flash Labels by NBT

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cole Swensen Symposium at Université Paris Est Marne-La-Vallée, Wednesday 11 December & Thursday 12 December

On Wednesday 11 December and Thursday 12 December, we will be hosting a 2 day symposium on Cole Swensen’s work at Université Paris Est Marne-La-Vallée, bâtiment Copernic, 2nd floor, room 88. How to get there? See here.

We will be meeting in the morning of December 11th at 10 am to prepare our sessions with Cole Swensen. Cole Swensen will be joining us at 2 pm on the 11th. She will also be with us all day on the 12th.

On Wednesday 11 December at 8pm, Cole Swensen, Nicolas and Maitreyi Pesquès will give a reading at the Maison de la poésie de Paris.

So far, we’ve tried to focus on the writer’s own (creative and critical) work on the first day of the P&C symposia and on broader issues of poetics and practice-based criticism with the writer on the second day. But there’s no specific preconceived program for the 2 days of the symposium: as the previous sessions of the program have shown, it seems important to let the conversation take its own course.

Bio, bibliography & links: 

I.  Biographies and bibliography

> Bio from the Academy of American poets

> Bio (from wikipedia) :
Cole Swensen (b. 1955, in Kentfield, California) is an American poet, translator, editor, copywriter, and professor. Swensen was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and is the author of more than ten poetry collections and as many translations of works from the French. She received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz before going on to become the now-Previous Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa until 2012 when she joined the faculty of Brown University's Literary Arts Program.
Her work is considered Postmodern and post-Language school, though she maintains close ties with many of the original authors from that group (such as Lyn Hejinian, Carla Harryman, Barrett Watten, Charles Bernstein,) as well as poets from all over the US and Europe. In fact, her work is hybrid in nature, sometimes called lyric-Language poetry emerging from a strong background in the poetic and visual art traditions of both the USA and France and adding to them her own vision.
In the USA, Cole Swensen’s ninth collection of poetry, Goest (Alice James Books, 2004) was a finalist for the National Book Award.[1] Earlier works have been awarded a National Poetry Series selection, Sun & Moon’s New American Writing Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize via University of Iowa Press, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her translation of Jean Frémon’s The Island of the Dead won the 2004 PEN USA Literary Award for Translation. She has also received grants from the Association Beaumarchais and the French Bureau du Livre.

In France, Swensen has participated in readings and collaborative translation projects with such organizations as the Royaumont Foundation at the beautiful L'abbaye de Royaumont, Columbia University’s Reed Hall, the maison des écrivains et de la littérature [2] in Paris, Double Change [3][4] and Ivy Writers Paris.[5] Her life-long commitment to translation is a testament to her belief in the international exchange of words and language, and in the importance of radical and traditional poetries for contemporary society.
She is member of the Academy of American Poets, and a contributing editor for the periodicals American Letters & Commentary and for Shiny, and for many years was the translation editor for the online contemporary poetry and poetics review How2.[6]
She divides her time between Paris, Washington DC and Providence, where she is on the permanent faculty of Brown University's Literary Arts Program. She is also the founder and editor of La Presse, a small press dedicated to the translation and publication in English of contemporary French poetry (such as by Claude Royet-Journoud or Marie Borel).

Gravesend, (University of California Press, 2012)--Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry, 2012.
Ours: poems on the gardens of Andre Le Notre (University of California Press, 2008)[7] --excerpt at POOL [8]
The Glass Age, (Alice James Books , 2007)[9][10]
The Book of a Hundred Hands (University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2005)[11]
NEF, a translation by Rémi Bouthonnier of Noon (Les Petits Matins, Paris, 2005)
Goest, (Alice James Books, 2004)[12]--Finalist for the National Book Award, 2004, and One of 12 books honored as the "Best Poetry of 2004" by Library Journal.[13]
Such Rich Hour, (University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2001)[14]
Oh, (Apogee Press, Berkeley, CA, 2000)--Finalist for the National Poetry Series, 1998.[15][16]
And Hand chapbook (a+bend Press series, San Francisco, CA, 2000)[17]
Try, (University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, Iowa, 1999)--Winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, 1998, and Winner of the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, 2000.[18]
Noon (Sun & Moon Press, Los Angeles, CA., 1997)--Winner of the New American Writing Award. Re-published with Green Integer [19]
Numen, (Burning Deck Press, Providence, RI, 1995) -- Named an “International Book of the Year,” Times Literary Supplement, and Finalist for the PEN West Award in Poetry, 1996. It also appeared in French translation as Numen, (Fondation Royaumont, 1994) [20]
Parc, a translation by Pierre Alferi of Park (Format Américan France, 1995)[21]
Park (Floating Island Press, Inverness, CA. 1991)
New Math (William Morrow & Co., New York, 1988) -- Winner of the National Poetry Series, 1987
It's Alive She Says, (Floating Island Press, CA, 1984)

Swensen's translations from the French
"La Vraie nature des ombres"by Jean Frémon : "The Real Life of Shadows", The Post Apollo Press, 2009
Physis by Nicolas Pesquès (Parlor Press / Free Verse Editions, 2007)[22]
Futur, ancien, fugitif by Olivier Cadiot, as Future, Former, Fugitive(Roof Books, 2004) [23]
Kub or by Pierre Alferi, asOxo (Burning Deck, 2004)[24]
Ile des Morts by Jean Frémon, as: Island of the Dead (Green Integer, 2002)--awarded the 2004 PEN USA Award for Literary Translation [25]
Bayart by Pascalle Monnier (Black Square Editions, 2001)
Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995)
Past Travels by Olivier Cadiot (1994)
Interrmittances II by Jean Tortel (1994)

Other publications
Swensen has written critical articles on poets such as Susan Howe, Anne-Marie Albiach or Claude Royet-Journoud, as well as reviews of poetry for such periodicals and books as:
anthologies Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing By Women edited by Mary Margaret Sloan, (Talisman Editions, New Jersey, 1998) and
Civil Disobediences (Coffee House Press, 2004)
American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2008). Swensen co-edited (with David St. John) this anthology that includes 70 poets seen as creating cross-genre works, mixing traditional or modernist poetry techniques with experimental and postmodern writings

Contributions to periodicals
Contributor to periodicals in English: including Chicago Review, American Poetry Review, Boston Book Review, Common Knowledge, Conjunctions, Upstairs at Duroc, Grand Street, New American Writing, and ZYZZYVA.[26] She has also translated individual poems for print and online periodicals such as Verse, The Germ, 1913. Online at the extensive Chicago Modern Poetry website,[27] one can discover other poets Swensen has translated including Caroline Dubois [28] or Sabine Macher,[29] and Oulipo poet Michel Gringaud at the drunkenboat publication website [30] or at Free Verse.[31]

Individual poems by Swensen have appeared in French translation: in the reviews “Action Poétique,” "Java," "Vacarme," "Nioques," "Action Poétique," and “Hors-Bords.”

II. Websites

> Swensen’s page on Pennsound

In particular, her reading and discussion : the Cross-Cultural Poetics Series (2010)

> Find more about Cole Swensen’s small press La presse dedicated to poetry in translation :

III. Interviews

> Christopher Nelson’s interview about Gravesend

> Audio itw about Gravesend

> Questions to Cole Swensen :

> Cole Swensen : a video about Iwoa

> Talk about « If a Garden of numbers » (from Ours)

And Cole’s response to that talk : https://jacket2.org/commentary/cole-swensen-responds

IV. Reviews and Articles :
> presentation of Noise that Stays Noise : http://www.press.umich.edu/1903627/noise_that_stays_noise

> Donna Stonecipher’s review of Ours in Jacket

> A review of Ours in Bookforum

> Article through Project Muse :

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to get to Bâtiment Copernic, Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée > 2nd floor, room 88

Short instructions below. Long instructions “RER 101” here.
To come to the Université Paris Est Marne-La-Vallée, take the RER A4 line to the station Noisy Champs.” You will have to purchase a special ticket Paris – Noisy Champs (you can do so in any metro station). In Paris you can board the RER A at the following train stations: Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Auber, Châtelet Les Halles, Gare de Lyon, Nation. See map of the line here.
*Châtelet Les Halles - Noisy Champs : approx. 25'.
*Gare de Lyon - Noisy Champs : approx 20'.
*Nation - Noisy Champs : approx 18'

Please board one of the front cars of the train: when you get off at Noisy Champs, you will be close to the exit leading to the University. Walk to the escalators. As you go up the escalators from the platform, take the exit located on your right. You want exit #3 "bd Newton" (see pic.)  Here’s a map of the campus.
Take Exit 3 turn right at top of elevators

As you leave the RER station, turn left, go straight. You will see the La Poste building. At the crossroads, turn right onto the avenue Ampère
Crossroads & beg. of Av. Ampère
Copernic bldg. / U.Paris Est MLV

Once on the avenue Ampère, you will see Piotr Kowalski's large metallic sculpture a.k.a. “the axis of the earth”. Walk to the roundabout where the structure is erected. Then make a left on boulevard Descartes. The Copernic building will be on your right. 

With Google Street View:
1. From RER Station to crossroads

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

2. Walk past La Poste to crossroads

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

3. At crossroads make a right

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

4. Go straight

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

5. Make a left at "axe de la terre" roundabout

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map 

6. Take second street on your left

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

7. The Copernic building of the Université will be on your right.

View Noisy Champs RER A Station, Bd Ampère in a larger map

Inside Copernic...
Enter the bldg. Make a left and walk past the "Accueil".

Walk to left rear end of bldg
Walk to the rear end of the bldg, past the auditorium Maurice Gross and make a left. Walk down the corridor (see pic.) to the elevators.
Hallway leading to elevators
There are several elevators which will take you to the 2nd floor. Congratulations, you've made it! Once you exit the elevator, make a left. Room 88 will be down the hall, signs will be posted.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cole Swensen's Book of Essays *Noise that Stays Noise*

More information by clicking on cover below

Below, table of contents of Cole Swensen's book of essays

"Swensen reminds us that the old fashioned approach to extraneous (non-lyrical) data invading the text is called research." Ron Silliman on Cole Swensen's Ours/ Le Nôtre

On April 14, 2009, Ron Silliman wrote a review / essay on Cole Swensen's Ours and, more generally, on her work in relation to conceptual writing & American (& French) poetics. The essay addresses many of the issues Poets & Critics has been concerned with over the past three years.

Here's the beginning of the essay. The entire essay can be read on Ron Silliman's blog, by clicking on the icon below.

 “All conceptual writing is allegorical writing” argue Rob Fitterman & Vanessa Place in Notes on Conceptualisms, a fascinating little book with painfully small type. At the core of Cole Swensen’s Ours, published last year by the University of California Press, is the allegory of the garden, French gardens to be exact, and especially the work of André Le Nôtre (1613-1700), the “father,” to use Swensen’s term for it, “of the French formal garden.” Le Nôtre’s work most famously includes Versailles, as well as Chantilly, Saint-Cloud, Sceaux, Vaux-le-Vicomte & the Tuileries, where he himself was born, the son & grandson of royal gardeners. Le Nôtre, of course, means ours in French, but this isn’t the most important dimension of the pun tucked into the book’s title. Rather it is the logic of the garden, or of a certain type of garden, & the logic of the poem, our art. Or of a certain type of poem, the sort that Cole Swensen might be called upon to write. And beyond that, possession (or at least possessiveness) of the earth itself, such as royalty might imagine to be their “divine right.”

Cole Swensen's rich "Ours" in French: Le Nôtre, éditions José Corti, 2013

original American edition

From The University of California Press website: 

These poems are about gardens, particularly the seventeenth-century French baroque gardens designed by the father of the form, André Le Nôtre. While the poems focus on such examples as Versailles, which Le Nôtre created for Louis XIV, they also explore the garden as metaphor. Using the imagery of the garden, Cole Swensen considers everything from human society to the formal structure of poetry. She looks in particular at the concept of public versus private property, asking who actually owns a garden? A gentle irony accompanies the question because in French, the phrase "le nôtre" means "ours." Whereas all of Le Nôtre's gardens were designed and built for the aristocracy, today most are public parks. Swensen probes the two senses of "le nôtre" to discover where they intersect, overlap, or blur.
Cole SWENSEN | Le nôtre

éditions Corti, 2013

Traduit de l'anglais par Maïtreyi & Nicolas Pesquès

Troisième livre de poésie de Cole Swensen chez Corti, Le nôtre conclut ce que l'on pourrait appeler sa trilogie française (après « Si riche heure », 2007, qui traverse notre 15ème siècle en s'appuyant sur l'iconographie des Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, et après « L’Âge de verre », 2010, qui considère l'histoire du verre et de la fenêtre à la lumière de l'oeuvre de Bonnard et de quelques autres).
Le livre évoque la personne, l'œuvre et l'époque d'André Le Nôtre (1613-1700), l'inventeur du jardin à la française. C'est une déambulation attentive parmi les espaces créés de toutes pièces par notre célèbre jardinier dont les services furent très recherchés à la Cour des Grands du 17ème siècle. Et si, curieusement, tous ces espaces furent composés pour le plus grand plaisir d'une classe dominante, ils sont de nos jours presque tous devenus des jardins publics, d'où l'ironie du nom de notre héros et du titre de ce livre.
Revisitant ses principaux jardins (Vaux le Vicomte, Chantilly, Saint-Cloud, Versailles, le Luxembourg etc.) Cole Swensen en profite pour faire coulisser l'histoire et la géométrie, tailler ses vers au cordeau, ouvrir et biaiser les perspectives. Elle y affûte le charme et l'aigu de sa prosodie. Résolument contemporaine, son écriture chevauche rigueur constructive et éclats morcelés, sa tranchante élégance restant en phase avec le Grand Siècle qu'elle traverse. Cole Swensen ne manque pas d'interroger à sa façon les raisons et conséquences de ce qui fut à l'origine de l'invention du paysage, qui reste, aujourd'hui encore, profondément attachée à nos manières de regarder le monde. La fabrication de la perspective, le choix des masses et des couleurs : le monde est ainsi modelé et chacun peut alors se l'approprier comme une création domestique.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cole Swensen in La Baule @ écrivains en bord de mer festival, July 2013

Reading, with Vincent Broqua:


 On Creative Writing, with François Bon, Thalia Field & Laura Kasischke - interviewed by Bernard Martin:

Monday, November 4, 2013

30.5.12 Lecture / reading Suzanne Doppelt & Cole Swensen Part 1, galerie éof, Paris

Cole Swensen and Suzanne Doppelt read for double change on the occasion of the publication of their books Gravesend and La plus grande aberration.

Cole Swensen: Difference and/or the Lack of It / De la différence et/ou de son absence : quelques réflexions sur la littérature contemporaine en France et aux États-unis.

De la différence et/ou de son absence : quelques réflexions sur la littérature contemporaine en France et aux États-unis.

Cliquez sur l'image pour accéder au texte intégral. For English version scroll down.

Please click on image to access full text.