Skip to main content

Gina Franco ’97

Alumnae Poet

Gina Franco

Gina Franco ’97 is the author of The Accidental (University of Arkansas Press, 2019), winner of the CantoMundo Poetry Prize, as well as The Keepsake Storm (2004). She has been awarded residencies and fellowships with Casa Libre en la Solana, the Santa Fe Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and PINTURA : PALABRA, sponsored by Letras Latinas, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame. Franco teaches poetry and poetry translation, 18th- and 19-century British literature, Gothic literature, Borderland writing and literary theory at Knox College.

Select Poems

Call one shadow, the other fullness: little difference

between cloud & sea: captured together they most resemble


a new bruise, or the trembling surface of an offered cup: held

so to grip this world, to test belonging & not belonging


to the sea, to the cloud: pictured together we must resemble

the murmuring flock at the center − surge of question marks −


− body of bodies − in this last world of belonging & unbelonging:

the ghost of a bird is “bird”: mirrorlike, though one is less real:


murmuring flocks at the border − as when questions make a scene −

it’s startling, how the frame holds fast. It happens there is no escape.


The ghost in a “bird” is bird: mirrorlike, the more they reel:

& tear-like bodies make clouds (the same we see make a sea):


how startling the frame, how vast as it happens: no escaping

these repetitions: the flock is all water, the birds, waves,


bodies tear from the sea (from the same clouds, it seems).



these repetitions: the flock all water − birds: waves −

if not frame & apparition, if not pictured where we look.



to be held without beholding


frame & apparition & picture as we like:

no bruised & trembling reflection in this offered cup: held


& held without the gripe of beholding

one as shadow, the other fullness:


little difference never-landing:

(from The Map of Every Lilac Leaf: Poets Respond to the Smith College Museum of Art, 2020) 

About Gina

Poetry Center Reading Dates: September 2020