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Gina Franco


Gina Franco

Professor of English

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Professor of English

Photo by Chris Lake

General Interests
"I'm currently working on a manuscript of poems entitled Mother Lode, about copper mining in Arizona. I'm also working on superstition in nineteenth-century British Romanticism, a project that has led me to look at the tragic dramas of William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley."

Years at Knox: 2003 to present

Ph.D., Language and Literature, Cornell University.
M.A., English Language and Literature, 2000, Cornell University.
M.F.A., Creative Writing -- Poetry, 2000, Cornell University.
B.A., English Literature, 1997, Smith College.

Teaching Interests
Poetry writing, literary critical writing, modern and contemporary American poetry, British Romantic and Victorian literature, poetry translation, literary theory, Latino literature, women's writing, 18th & 19th-century philosophy and theology.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Professional Recognition
Franco's book The Keepsake Storm was among the books Junot Diaz sighted as greatly influential.

Knox Faculty Research / Creative Work Grant: Travel to Tucson, Arizona, for Teaching and Research, 2014.
Associated College Press Pacemaker Award, Catch literary magazine, Knox College, 2008.
Philip Green Wright-Lombard Prize for distinguished teaching, Knox College, 2007.
Casa Libre en la Solana, Writing Residency, Tucson, Arizona, 2007.
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Meralmikjen Fellowship in Poetry, Middlebury College, Vermont, 2006.
"The Earth Without," Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, Special Mention, 2005.
Santa Fe Writers' Conference Fellowship, Southwest Literary Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2004.
Semi-finalist, Verse Press, 2002.
Runner-up, Sarabande Books, Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry 2002.
Finalist, Ashland Poetry Press, Richard Snyder Prize, 2002.
Semi-finalist, Zoo Press, 2002.
Semi-finalist, Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, 2002.
Semi-finalist, Lynx House Press, 2002.
Corson-Bishop Poetry Prize, Cornell University, 2002.
Buttrick-Crippen Fellowship, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, 2001-2002.
Martin Sampson Teaching Award, 2001.
Runner-up, Tupelo Press, 2001.
Finalist, Colorado Prize, 2000.
Anonymous Donor Fellowship, 1999.
Robert Chasen Poetry Prize, Cornell University, 1998.
Leadership Alliance Ruth Diamond Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 1997.
Mellon Fellowship, 1997.
Sage Fellowship, 1997.

Publications"Refrain," Poetry Magazine 204.1 (April 2014): 14-15.

"Refrain," The Poetry Foundation, 2014.

"Velvet," The Poetry Foundation, 2014.

"Water in Water," Crazyhorse 86.2 (Fall 2014): 151-52.

"The Animal is Poor in the World," Crazyhorse 86.2 (Fall 2014): 153.

Sections from "Substantial," Saint Katherine Review (4.1 2014): 13-14.

Sections from "The Accidental," Drunken Boat #18 Winter 2014.

Poetry Foundation website profile, podcast, and poem, 2013: "Archaeopteryx, an Elegy," reprinted with permission of the University of Arizona Press.

"Otherwise All Would Be God." Diagram 13.4, 2013: Online.

"Foundations of a Marvelous Science." Image: Art, Faith, Mystery, 77, Spring 2013:90-1.

The Other Latino, Edited by Blas Falconer. University of Arizona Press: "The Child in the House" (essay), 2011 forthcoming.

Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing, Edited by Rigoberto Gonzalez. University of Arizona Press (poetry), 2010.

"Our Mother Drowns in Our City of Hanging Gardens." Pilgrimage Magazine, 2010 forthcoming.

Crown Recycling: a Landscape. Photography exhibit. 16 images solicited and curated by Pamela Bunch of Lee-Bunch Studio Gallery. The Heart of Del Rio First Friday Art Walk, Del Rio, Texas, 2010.

The Best of Fence: The First Nine Years, Edited by Rebecca Wolff. Selected by Christopher Stackhouse, Fence Books: "The Box" (poetry), 2009.

"Where shall I exit and how?" from "The Accidental." Tuesday; an Art Project, 2009.

Eight sections from "The Accidental" Zone 3, 2008.

Six sections from Utter, a book-length lyric sequence, BorderSenses, 2007.

Thirteen sections from Utter, a book-length lyric sequence, Copper Nickel, 2007.

Five sections from Utter, a book-length lyric sequence, The Eleventh Muse, 2007.

The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry, Edited by Francisco Aragon. University of Arizona Press: "The Earth Without," "Everything Goes Down a Changeling," "Velvet," "Darkling," "These Years, in the Deepest Holes," "The Walk Like Old Habits" (poetry), 2007.

Like a Fragile Index of the World, Edited by Alice Fulton. Cornell University: "does the eagle know what's in the pit" (poetry), 2006.

"Middle of our life I came to myself in a dark," "passed over the shadows and put our soles on their vanity which seems a body," "they had to come backward for to look forward was denied", MiPOesias, 2006.

"The Box." Fence, 2005.

"The Line." Blue Collar Review, 2005.

Lasting: Poems on Aging, Edited by Meg Files. Pima Press: "The Keepsake Storm," "Paraffin Days" (poetry), 2005.

The Keepsake Storm, a collection of poetry. University of Arizona Press, 2004.

"The Earth Without", Black Warrior Review, 2004.

"From the Tree, to Storm", Seneca Review, 2003.

"That Cried to the Whole City ‘Sleep No More'", Georgia Review, 2003.

"Their Lives and Shadows", Prairie Schooner, 2003.

"Del Rio", Mosaic, 2002.

"The Spirit that Appears When You Call", Crazyhorse, 2001.

Loft and Range, Edited by Tom Speer. Pima Press: "Velvet," "Through the Glass," "These Years, in the Deepest Holes," "Couldn't I Want to Be a Man, Sometimes," "Where the Bodies, Half-Dressed, in Pieces," "Sunday Morning" (poetry), 2001.

"Fishing", Black Warrior Review, 1999.

"Again Watermelon," "Crawling out of Sleep", Fox Cry, 1996.

"Scared Darren on a Tree Branch above the River", G. W. Review, 1996.

"Revelation", Chattahoochee Review, 1995.


"Image: Art, Faith, Mystery 25th Anniversary Celebration" (panelists Scott Cairns, Gina Franco, Brett Lott, Khaled Mattawa, Alicia Ostriker), Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, Seattle, WA, February 2014.

"Sanctuary: an Evening of Poetry with Scott Cairns, Gina Franco, Kimberly Johnson," Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, WA, February 2014.

"The Child in the House," paper/panel presentation with Brenda Cardenas, Urayoan Noel, and Rich Villar, Poets House, New York, New York, 2009.

"After Magic Realism: New Adventures in U.S. Latino Literature. Panel and Paper presentation. Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2009.

"Diverging Lines: Understanding the Evolution of Contemporary Latino Poetry." Paper presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2009.

"The Price of the Ticket: Writers of Color and Writing Programs." Panel Presenta-tion, Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, New York, New York, 2008.

"Utter: on Skepticism and the Second Book," Fridays at Four, paper presentation, Knox College, 2007.

Smith College Poetry Center, Q&A panel with Eve Grubin and Gail Mazur, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2007.

Class visit, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 2006.

"Image Logic," craft class, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, 2006.

"Beatrice's Rock: the Masochistic Contract in The Cenci," paper presentation, Unconfinable Romanticism Conference, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 2005.

University of Colorado at Denver outreach program, writing workshop series, West High School, Denver, Colorado, 2005.

"Ancestors, Home, and Poetry," panel presentation, Southwest Literary Center, Santa Fe Writers' Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2004.

"Yearning for the Word: Poetry and Suffering." Pima Writers' Conference, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona, 2004.

"The Lemons," guided writing presentation, Pima Writers' Conference, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona, 2004.

Green Oaks, journal writing workshop and tutorials, Green Oaks, Knox College, 2004.

"Devil in a Pitcher of Water," paper/panel presentation for "Scribbler and Scribe: Art of Research," panel, Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, 2003.

Professional Service
Adjudicator, Robert Chasen Memorial Prize, Dorothy Sugarman Prize, graduate and undergraduate poetry writing contests, Cornell University, 2010.

Adjudicator, Tucson Poetry Festival, 14th Annual Statewide High School Poetry Contest, Arizona, April 2009.

Adjudicator, Bread Loaf 2007 Bakeless Literary Publication Prizes, Fall 2006.

Teaching Assistant, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, August 2006.

Oblate, Community of St. John Novitiate, Princeville, Illinois, June 2010 - present.

Faculty Poet, Pima Writers' Conference, Tucson, Arizona, 2004.

Teaching Assistant and Workshop Leader, Santa Fe Writers' Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2004.

Adjudicator, University of Illinois, Chicago, Writers' Program poetry contest for the AWP Intro Journals Award Project, 2003.

Outside Reviewer, poetry book manuscripts, University of Arizona Press, Camino del Sol and Sun Tracks Latina/o and Native American Literary Series, 2003 - 2008.

Member, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), 2000 - present.

Member, Modern Language Association, 2000 - present.

Writing Workshop Instructor, Advanced Poetry and Short Story Writing Workshop, non-credit, Tucson, Arizona, Summer 2002.

Teaching Mentor, "Cultural Studies," English 168.01, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in The Disciplines, Cornell University, Fall 2002.

Member, U.S. Latina/o Graduate Student Coalition, Cornell University.

Coordinator, Joint-Degree Colloquium, Cornell University, 2000-01 & 2001-02.

Research Assistant: Professor Dorothy Mermin, Victorian literature anthology project, 2000.

Collaborative Teaching, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University, 1999.

Teaching Assistant, Teaching Internship, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University, Summer 1998.

Campus & Community Involvement
"Take a Colleague's Class," ART 114: "Photography I," Michael Godsil, Instructor, Knox College, Fall 2007.
Catholic Religious Education Volunteer, Eighth Grade, Corpus Christi Parish, Galesburg, Illinois, 2007, 2009.
Participant, Fall Institute Advising Workshops, Knox College, 2004.
Academic Advisor for 20+ students, currently.
Faculty Advisory Committee on Religious Studies, Knox College, Fall 2010 - present.
Faculty Advisor, Catch, Knox College's literary magazine, Fall 2007 - present.
Ex Officio Representative as Faculty Adviser to Catch: Broadcast, Internet, and Publications Board, Fall 2007 - present.
MUSE Undergraduate Literary Conference: led students through the process of writing and submitting paper abstracts to the MUSE literary conference and accompanied student presenters to Bloomington, Illinois, for their paper presentations.
Chair, Campus Diversity Committee, 2006 - 2007.
Member, Campus Diversity Committee, 2004 - 2005.
Faculty Representative, Associated Colleges of the Midwest Committee on Minority Concerns, 2006 - 2007.
Associated Colleges of the Midwest Committee on Minority Concerns, Spring meeting, Colorado College, March 2007.
Member, Faculty Development Advisory Group, Winter 2006 - 2008.
Faculty Advisor, Writer's Forum, Department of English student reading series, 2004 - 2007.
Faculty Co-Advisor with Lori Schroeder, The Common Room, Department of English online journal of student literary criticism, Fall 2004 - 2006.
Faculty Advisor and Founder, "Off Knox" open-mic series, Knox College, Fall 2004 - present.
Humanities Council Representative of the Department of English, Knox College, Fall 2003 - present.
Faculty Contact for the Office of Admissions, Knox College (meet with prospective students and parents, open classes to daily visitors, and attend Admissions sponsored luncheons, dinners, and receptions, including a day-trip reception in St. Louis for admitted students and parents).
Administered the English Department's writing contest for the Davenport Poetry and Fiction Prizes, Spring 2004, Spring 2010.
Assisted in the selection of student manuscripts to submit to the ACM's Nick Adams Prize, Spring 2004, Spring 2007.
Hosted and catered post-reading dinner receptions for visiting writers-in-residence: Alex Kuo Spring 2004, Herman Carrillo Spring 2004, Jane Ciabattari Fall 2004.



What Students Say
"Gina Franco is one of teachers you always hear about but never seem to meet: she loves what she does and goes through every effort to get you to love your own work. You'll analyze Lord Byron right next to modern-day rap lyrics, and she'll gladly take the personal time to help you tune your craft. Most importantly though, she's more than just a teacher; she's a good friend-the kind who will listen to what you have to say instead of looking at the clock to make sure she doesn't miss a meeting. She's the perfect Knox teacher: intelligent, caring, fun, and unique."
-Evan Sawdey, Theatre Major

"Gina Franco's contagious excitement compels students to consider the various layers of a poem or story and to articulate what they find there. She ignites my curiosity; suddenly I find myself ordering ten books from interlibrary loan or running to my friends to say "Look at this!" Gina wants her students to consider a poem on its own terms, to tease out its hows and whys. She will often spend an entire class period guiding a close-reading of one paragraph, creating a window into the text that students can then explore on their own."
-Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez, Creative Writing Major

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Printed on Saturday, June 15, 2024