Ariel Francisco is a marvel. Francisco’s poetry stirringly strikes the balance between the colloquial and the traditional, the hip and classic, the witty and the mournful. In his newest collection All My Heroes Are Broke, Francisco examines the worlds of the wandering poet, immigrant families, the lure and grittiness of South Florida and New York, and the appeal of our heroes, whether they are canonized writers, parents, strangers or rappers from Minnesota and New York. With warmth, swaggered grace, and searing stanza, Francisco’s poetry envelops you, makes you ponder and root. Francisco’s work takes you to the heart of why poetry matters: because enduring language and accessible truths matter. He is also a teacher, an ardent literary citizen, and an advocate for poetry in all its forms.
Francisco is the author of All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017) and Before Snowfall, After Rain (Glass Poetry Press, 2016). He was born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents, and completed his MFA at Florida International University in Miami. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2016, Gulf Coast, Washington Square, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in South Florida.
In this interview from 2017, we talk about assembling a poetry collection, finding your voice, music, and “broke-ness” amongst other topics.