For the first time since before the pandemic, the Monmouth College English Department held their Writers at Monmouth event on Wednesday, April 12. Gina Franco, a poet and creative writing professor at Knox College faculty was invited to campus by Professor David Wright.
Franco is the author of The Accidental, a collection of poems about her life growing up in the American Southwest as a Latina-American and her relationship with Catholicism and the world around her. She won of the 2019 Cantomundo Poetry Prize.
Franco visited Monmouth College last week and met with Professor Wright’s English classes for a discussion on poetry craft, process, and publication. Franco answered the questions proposed to her by the English majors, many of which having to do with the content and inspiration of her poetry.
“That story of my childhood is a text,” said Franco after describing how her childhood and growing up in the Catholic Church affected her writing. “Writing is a rebellion.”
Franco presetned a campus-wide public reading in the Mellinger Learning Center later that afternoon, where she read from her book The Accidental. She opened with the first poem in the collection, “Otherwise All Would be God,” a poem that she wrote about the death of her grandmother. Franco then closed her reading by reading excerpts from the longer poem and title of the book, “The Accidental.” Franco announced this year’s winners of the Rosanna Webster Graham Prize for Creative Writing who will be formally announced and awarded at the Scholars Day Honors Convocation on April 25.
“Thanks to the student writers at Monmouth who gave me their difficult, searching, generous questions,” Franco expressed her gratitude on her personal Instagram account (@the_accidentalist) on April 16, “as if I had any answers.”
Mia Martino – Staff Writer