Ours: The Gardens of Andre Le Notre

Cole Swensen

Artist Bio

Ours: The Gardens of Andre Le Notre looks at baroque gardens in France and their gradual shift from private to public property. Cole Swensen uses the subject to look at the nature of collective identity and ownership. Her book blends poetic text with art criticism and provokes questions about the 17th-century mindset around property as it parallels our own. A second theme of Ours is the subtle overlap between garden design and military applications.

Award Year



Cole Swensen

Washington, DC

Cole Swensen's books of poetry include The Book of a Hundred Hands; Goest, published by Alice James Books in 2004; Noon, from Sun & Moon press in 1997; and New Math, from William Morrow & Co. in 1988. Her awards include a PEN Literary Award for Translation, a Pushcart Prize, an Iowa Prize for Poetry, and a San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award. She has taught at the University of Denver and is an associate professor at the Iowa Writers Workshop.