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Luis H. Francia (Author)

The Sahara of I

The Sahara of I

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Beltway Editions
6 X 9 in
73 pg

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Luis Francia is a poet in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and José Garcia Villa, and shares with them a compulsion to write serious poems—poems deeply concerned with the metaphysical—that are nonetheless filled with incandescent wordplay, humor, and even, at times, joy. In The Sahara of I Luis H. Francia once again shares his marvelous gift for probing insight, humor, alliterative wordplay, and serious observations of humanity in all its complexity. Francia contemplates our living and our dead, not to mention our hidden connection amid apparent isolation. Few writers wield such irony and romance simultaneously. It is a sparkling pathos, a playful gravity.

Luis H. Francia
Author Bio

LUIS H. FRANCIA is a poet, playwright, and nonfiction writer. He is an adjunct professor at New York University, where he teaches Filipino Language and Culture.

His last poetry collection was Thorn Grass (University of the Philippines Press, 2021). Previous collections include Tattered BoatThe Arctic Archipelago and Other PoemsMuseum of Absences, and The Beauty of Ghosts. Included in many anthologies, he has been a first-prize winner in the Philippines’ most prestigious literary competition, the Palancas, and honored by the Union of Philippine Writers in 2014. His works have been translated into Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, French, and German. He has read at numerous literary festivals, including in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Australia, Canada, China, and Nicaragua.

His nonfiction works include the memoir Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago, winner of both the 2002 PEN Open Book Award and the 2002 Asian American Writers award, and Memories of Overdevelopment: Reviews and Essays of Two Decades. His A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos was published in 2010, with a revised edition in 2014. He is in the Library of America’s Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing. His latest collection of nonfiction, RE: Reflections, Reviews, and Recollections, was released in 2015.

His first full-length play The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz, was given its world premiere by Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco in 2012, and restaged in 2022 by New York’s Atlantic Pacific Theater . Another play, Black Henry, on Magellan’s 1521 landfall in the Philippines, was virtually staged by New York University ’s King Juan Carlos Center and Sulo: Philippine Studies Initiative, in late April of 2021, the quincentennial of that historic voyage.

He has taught poetry and nonfiction writing, at among other places, Yale, the Iowa Writers Program, the City University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and St. Benilde College and Ateneo de Manila University in Manila.

He and his wife, Midori Yamamura, an art historian, live in Jackson Heights, Queens.