George Franklin practices law in Miami. Remote Cities is his third full-length poetry collection with Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, complementing Noise of the World (2020) and Traveling for No Good Reason (winner of the Sheila-Na-Gig Editions manuscript competition in 2018). He has also authored the dual-language collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas (translated by Ximena Gómez and published by Katakana Editores, 2020), and a chapbook, Travels of the Angel of Sorrow (Blue Cedar Press, 2020). He is the co-translator, along with the author, of Ximena Gómez’s Último día / Last Day and co-author with Gómez of Conversaciones sobre agua / Conversations About Water (Katakana Editores 2019 & 2023).
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ABOUT REMOTE CITIES:
From a cathedral in Cuernavaca with its frescos of samurai and soon-to-be-martyred priests to neighborhoods in Miami at the end of lockdown, to New York City in the 1970s, or to mythic Greece, the poems in Remote Cities are conscious of history as a process happening right now. They look back at us with an urgency that demands response, not that we embrace this or that political or religious dogma but that we live our lives with a sense of their fragility and value.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR REMOTE CITIES:
The poems in George Franklin’s Remote Cities are poems for grown-ups, for people who know what it is to have loved, to have been disappointed in love, to have recovered love. They are wise, thoughtful, self-effacing, realistic about nature and human nature, without illusion but also without bitterness. They understand what it is to find one’s self embedded among the complex ties of family and family history, with all its unsolved issues of duty and responsibility. They understand, without posing and without extenuation, what it is to live in a fallen political and historical world in which there are few unmixed institutions and few soluble problems. They see human life in the widest context, as they are reflected in history, poetry, fine art, and the way the classic stories face us with but do not solve the dark puzzle of our being. To all of these George Franklin brings an acute eye for detail, and a sad, knowing, and thoughtful sense of what it is to be alive and to know that life all the way through. —John Burt, author of Victory
If Robert Hass was right, in that all the new thinking about loss resembles the old thinking, what can be done to restore our lives and world? Remote Cities gathers the lost tribes, from antiquity to modernity to now, in a collection ritually anchored by the presence and body of the beloved, “mi amor”: her nightgown, white shoulders, and the memories, walks, and sensuous meals they share. Reminding us that every person, poem, era, and artwork is a1so looking back at the perceiver, Franklin has done the heretofore impossible: write an epic love poem that, in its refusal of death and dying, casts a new narrative song on the world’s “utter wreck,” making stars shine brighter than before. –-Virginia Konchan, author of Bell Canto
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Save an extra 25% when you buy Franklin’s Noise of the World and Traveling for No Good Reason (Free US Shipping)!: $25.50
Brian Fanelli of Pedestal Magazine reviews Noise of the World: https://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/george-franklins-noise-of-the-world-reviewed-by-brian-fanelli/?fbclid=IwAR0f7TFN3J7_0KaBOF1kZTwkichiSgqqLqu8Bdm3f8FJ_h-jpl58vaWyklE
ABOUT NOISE OF THE WORLD:
The poems in Noise of the World tell real stories, real because the poet doesn’t shy away from the limitations of being human. There are love poems, moments of desire, of “Pressing my lips and teeth hard against / Your shoulder, dissolving beneath your / Fingers, tongue, the shiver in your / Abdomen,” but they are tempered by the knowledge that the person loved will never be fully known and, ultimately, even desire is something that can’t be understood. His poems of history, like his love poems, find their reality in particular moments such as “The dark hands of the Zapatistas / Curled around white cups, eyes ignoring / The camera,” or “That cup of coffee and the soft, white bread / Depend on being born here, not there. Then, / Not some other time.” History encompasses as well the poet’s family, his life in Miami with his compañera, the Colombian poet Ximena Gómez, the classes he teaches in Florida prisons, his travels to Europe, Colombia, and Mexico, the Covid-19 quarantine, the writers and artists who’ve shaped how he sees and responds, and the solitude he experiences: the “House that quiet, the dog outside poking / His nose into opossum smells or / The pleasure of rotting leaves.” This book celebrates sensual life and the imagination while reminding us that even in moments of love or solitude, even when we don’t hear it, the noise of the world is still there.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR NOISE OF THE WORLD:
With his new and remarkable collection, George Franklin offers vivid images, portraits, snapshots, and narratives, conjuring the wonder of travel and romance, the bewilderments of aging and loss, the treasures and illusions of selfhood, and the complex legacies of family. These poems are meticulously crafted, Franklin addressing what it means to love, to be aware of inevitable death, and to seek wholeness in, as he writes, “the random pieces of our lives.” Impeccable work from a versatile poet at the height of his alchemical powers. – John Amen, Editor, Pedestal Magazine
In his new collection Noise of the World, George Franklin offers an intimate exploration of the emotional pressure points in our lives. In this day and age when the loudness of life can overwhelm, his careful observation of people and places, in memory and recollection, in imagining and re-imagining, focuses us on the importance of who we are and what we do in the unseen moments of our days. The subtle power of Franklin’s craft lies in the attention and intention, and at times devotion, of his words, which resonate long after reading. Threaded through this collection is a deep understanding of the connections between us and the tenuous nature of it all. Noise of the World chronicles a lifetime of tender observation, whether it is a connection with places traveled to or home during lock-down, or in moments in time with a lover, an aging self, or a dying father. These deftly crafted poems slow down time, allowing us to savour the moments that our lives are made of. –Kusi Okamura, Editor, The Wild Word
Winner of the 2018 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Poetry Manuscript contest
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Save 25% when you buy Franklin’s Noise of the World and Traveling for No Good Reason (Free US Shipping!).
Check out other great titles from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions at: https://sheilanagigblog.com/sheila-na-gig-editions-quick-shopping/
CLICK to hear George read three poems from the collection!
$14.00 — Ebook ISBN: 9781732940628 (available through your favorite online bookstores)
ABOUT TRAVELING FOR NO GOOD REASON:
These 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.
REVIEWS OF TRAVELING FOR NO GOOD REASON:
by Richard Allen Taylor in Pedestal Magazine: https://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/george-franklins-traveling-for-no-good-reason-reviewed-by-richard-allen-taylor/
by Deborah Bacharach in Broadsided Press: https://broadsidedpress.org/broadsides-to-books-is-the-arrow-in-motion/
Reviews on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Traveling-No-Good-Reason-Sheila-Na-Gig/dp/1732940606