George Franklin is the author of two books of poetry, Traveling for No Good Reason and Among the Ruins. When he is not writing, reading, making coffee, doing yoga, or finding some new and different way to waste time, he practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons. He is also general counsel for Exchange for Change, an organization that provides writing classes of all sorts to incarcerated persons.
In 2017, George and Colombian poet Ximena Gomez began to collaborate on translations of each other’s poetry. Now, Ximena’s translations of George’s work have appeared in various magazines and are collected in Among the Ruins from Katakana Editores, and their joint translations of Ximena’s poems have appeared in Cagibi, Sheila-Na-Gig online, and are forthcoming in Cigar City Poetry Journal.
Traveling for No Good Reason
The poems in Traveling for No Good Reason tell stories, and they invite the reader to enter into those stories. Whether the poet is drinking Cuban coffee in Miami, visiting Joseph Brodsky’s grave in Venice, teaching writing workshops in a Florida prison, learning to read Greek in New York City in the 1980s, or trying to make sense out of a love that is unexpected and undeserved, the stories are about the recompense we receive for our losses, the pleasures and ideas that allow us to start to live all over again. Sometimes that recompense is erotic, sometimes merely the fact of telling the story. The poems are conversational in style while at the same time seeking out what is often hard to talk about: the end of a marriage, a friend’s slow death, or what desire might actually mean. Regardless, it’s the conversation that’s always foremost. In looking to understand, these poems themselves want to be understood, to be transparent. They may engage historical or mythological figures or the woman whose life the poet shares, but their conversation is ultimately with the reader.
Traveling for No Good Reason won the 2018 Sheila-Na-Gig Manuscript Contest and is being published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. It is currently in pre-sale. During this period, you can order through Sheila-Na-Gig online via PayPal for 20% off and Free Shipping! Send $13.60 to PayPal.Me/HayleyMHaugen (Write: “Franklin” in the PayPal note section, and make sure your PayPal shipping address is current).
Ships in December.
Among the Ruins
Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas is a bilingual collection of poems translated into Spanish by Ximena Gomez and published by Katakana Editores.
A personal note:
I hesitate to describe Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas as simply a bilingual text, as though it were only a matter of putting English words on one page and Spanish words on another. It is much more than that. Translation is one of the most difficult things imaginable. Languages each have their own character and personality. There are sentences that are easy to write in the original language that are awkward if not impossible in a different one, and translating poetry, which derives part of its meaning and effect from the sound of the words, compounds the difficulty. I think of these translations as a beautiful gift given to me by Ximena Gomez. For a year and a half, she spent late nights and weekend afternoons making my English poems into Spanish ones. She would then walk me through that Spanish, carefully explaining her choices, showing me how these poems could take a new shape syntactically and rhythmically, how they could reemerge—be re-imagined—not merely as words transposed or transliterated from one language to another but fully as poems in Spanish. It was magic. Gracias, Ximena.
Many thanks to the editors of Cagibi for nominating my poem “On a Day in March” for inclusion in the 2019 Pushcart Anthology! Here’s a link to the nominations:
Links to Publications in Journals: