Gina Franco - "The Accidental"

Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Gina Franco

Gina Franco reads from and discusses her newest poetry collection, The Accidental. A Q&A and signing will follow the conversation.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required).

About the book: Cascading through each of the poems in Gina Franco’s The Accidental is a question: What does it mean to be human in a world where the soul is exalted but the body brutalized? Franco explores the terrain of the borderlands—not just the physical space of the American southwest, but the spaces where lines are drawn between body and soul, God and self, violence and ecstasy. Unfolding along these borders in a torrent of deep contemplation, Franco’s poems bring the reader to the line between accident and choice, delving into the role each plays in creating the lives we are born into and in determining how those lives end. A body caught in a tree after a flood—an accident—calls to mind deliberate violences: crucifixion and lynching.

Guided, even so, by a stark hopefulness, The Accidental makes a character of the soul and traces its pilgrimage from suffering toward transcendence. “The soul saw,” Franco writes, “that it saw through the wound.” This book tenders a creation myth steeped in existential philosophy and shimmering with the vernacular of the ecstatic.

About the author: Gina Franco’s book of poems, The Accidental, was awarded the 2019 CantoMundo Poetry Prize and is forthcoming with the University of Arkansas Press in October 2019. She is also the author of The Keepsake Storm, published with the University of Arizona Press. Her writing has been widely published in literary journals such as 32 Poems, America, Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Image, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review, Narrative, Poetry, and West Branch. She earned degrees from Smith College and Cornell University, and was 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. She teaches poetry writing, 18th & 19th-century British literature, Gothic literature, poetry translation, Borderland writing, religion and literature, 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, and she is married to Christopher Poore, who is currently a Regenstein Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago 60637