reli[e]able signs

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GINA FRANCO is a writer and a teacher.   

RELI[E]ABLE SIGNS is her journal of photographs. It reflects her travels between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, where her family lives, and western Illinois, where she and her husband live and work most of the year.

She is the winner of the 2019 CantoMundo Poetry Prize for her book, The Accidental, forthcoming with University of Arkansas Press in Fall of 2019. She's also the author of The Keepsake Storm (University of Arizona Press), poems that interrogate the surrealism of memory and narrative, especially in light of place, faith, and identity.

Her writing has been widely published in literary journals, including: 32 Poems, AmericaBlack Warrior Review, BorderSenses, Copper Nickel, CrazyhorseDiagram, Drunken BoatImageThe Georgia ReviewLos Angeles ReviewNarrativePoetryPrairie Schooner, Saint Katherine Review, Seneca ReviewTahoma Literary Review, Tuesday; an Art Project, West Branch, Zocaloand Zone 3. 

Her work is also anthologized in A Best of Fence: the First Nine Years; Lasting: Poems on Aging; Loft and Range; The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry; Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing; and The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity

She earned degrees from Smith College and Cornell University, and she has been awarded writing residencies and fellowships with Casa Libre en la Solana, the Santa Fe Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferenceand the PINTURA:PALABRA Residency in Washington, DC (sponsored by Letras Latinas: Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame)

She served as art editor, gratefully, for several years to Pilgrimage Magazine. And she taught at Image journal's amazing 2017 and 2018 Glen Workshop

She teaches poetry writing, 18th & 19th century British literature, Gothic literature, poetry translation, Latinx writing, religion and literature, animal studies, and literary theory at Knox College, where she was awarded the Philip Green Wright-Lombard Prize for distinguished teaching. 

She is an oblate with the monastic order of the Community of St John in Princeville, Illinois. She is married to Christopher Poore, who is also a writer. 

You can sometimes find her on Facebook.



The Keepsake Storm (University of Arizona Press)



West Branch Wired



"Day of the Dead is not 'Mexican Halloween'--it's a day where death is reclaimed" at America, co-written with Christopher Poore

"The Mission San Xavier del Bac: a Shrine without Borders" at America, co-written with Christopher Poore



"The Stone is Worldless" at 32 Poems

"Otherwise All Would Be God" at Diagram

"Foundations of a Marvelous Science" at Image

"Throne" at The Los Angeles Review 

"Annunciation of the Self Enclosed God" at Narrative

"Velvet" at The Poetry Foundation

"Archaeopteryx, an Elegy" at The Poetry Foundation

"Refrain" at Poetry Magazine

"The Bells" at The Poetry Center at Smith College

"Fishing" at The Poetry Center at Smith College

"passed over the shadows..." at The Poetry Center at Smith College

"Retablo:" at West Branch Wired

from "Substantial" at West Branch Wired

"The Spirit is Boneat West Branch Wired




poems: The Knox Writers' House Recording Project

an interview: Writers at Cornell

a poetry reading with Blas Falconer: Poetry Foundation

a reading from The Keepsake Storm: Library of Congress, "Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers 



“Franco's poems,” Alice Fulton writes, “enact the thrill of alchemy and metamorphosis, the riveting moment when changelings are betwixt-between, nightingale or monsters—it's hard to tell which, so vast and pliable and layered the scene. The poems bequeath a sense of place so deep it transcends particularity and arrives at the interior terrain of thought, the inscape of what-is.” 

Judith Kitchen, reviewing for the Georgia Review, writes that The Keepsake Storm’s “final sequence is so finely wrought, so nuanced and complicated, that it alone heralds an exciting new presence on the poetic stage.”

Midwest Book Review: "Dealing with such diverse themes as cultural alienation, lost family roots, the ambiguous nature of the self, Gina Franco uses her poetry to reaffirm the power of self-awareness, history, and places."



phati'tude review of The Other Latin@, edited by Blas Falconer and Lorraine M. López: "By way of metaphysics, Gina Franco in The Child in the House takes us to Latino poetry and a deconstruction of Western narratives. Christianity, language, culture and logocentrism (the idea that we have access to truth by way of reason and written language) are difficult to contest. One contests them by identifying and dismantling the oppressor in American culture, and she acknowledges this by “wielding her sword at abstractions” at history, government and patriarchy. Poetry is a point of dissension. What is to dissent? To live in dualities, at a distance, in opposition and to sustain the differences instead of accepting the hierarchical nature of the first term: right/left, north/south, soul/body, you/me."


CAMERAS Canon Digital Rebel XSi, Canon 5D II

LENSES Canon 16-35 f/2.8L II, Canon 24-70 f/2.8L, Canon 50 f/1.4, Canon 85 f/1.8, Canon 135 f/2.8 soft focus, Sigma 20mm f/1.8



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