Franci Louann’s Argentina poesía is a travel diary
transformed by kaleidoscopic language. From the very first page, Argentina
bursts into life in poems dripping with colours, fragrances, sensations.
If you have not travelled to this vast country, these poems will take
you there. The swirl of words, intense and provocative, is mitigated
with peals of laughter, ironic reflections, and gentle affirmations.
To be sure, Louann’s Argentina, where theft and muggings are just around
the corner, is not a perfect place. Yet joyous friendship, little kindnesses,
good food and conversation, light up each poem. In Louann’s trenchant
poetic universe, living is not reasoned into place: it simply is.
~ Robert Martens, author off little creatures, Hush, city of beasts
Franci Louann’s book captures the unique and sensuous qualities of
Argentina and its cities. It gives the reader the view of an outsider
looking through eyes of love – personal and cultural – but clear-sighted
about dark political histories and present complexities, and the difficulties
gaining knowledge of how to live in a new land. In Louann’s poetry,
we hear the music, taste the wine, read the authors, and enjoy the artists
and architects of this place, while we take up residence and wander
its streets, grand and humble.
~ Adrienne Drobnies, author of Salt and Ashes
Franci Louann’s love of Spanish and the locales in and around Buenos
Aires raises this collection to the status of a “palo borracho, a tree
full of giant flowers.” With leitmotifs of wine, street life, and relationships
from a song that grows bilingually, Argentina poesía explores what makes
up the patterns of our heartbeats. Rarely does a book so perfectly capture
and express its author’s growing worldview. By the end of the book,
after we’ve read poems written in both English and Spanish, we see how
it is that someone can write the script for their dreams and how “at
the orchid store they are filling a taxi with flowers.”
~ Kevin Spenst, author of Hearts Amok: a memoir in verse
Franci Louann had her first fine publications in Dorothy Livesay’s last
anthology, Women’s Eye: 12 BC poets in the 1970s. Her name was
then Fran Workman. In 2010, Lipstick Press published her Beach Cardiology.
There have been awards for Franci’s poetry and for her decades of volunteer
work in this area. She is thankful for many falling-off-her-chair moments.
Franci was born in Stratford, Ontario. Her father was a British Home Child,
her mother third-generation German-Canadian. From 2002 to 2017, Argentina
was Franci’s “second home”. Poems about these latter experiences could
fill another book.