Francisco Aragón


Francisco Aragón is a Latino poet, editor and writer.

Aragon in 2017


  • When you’re confronted with your community being rendered invisible to the culture-at-large, a mission as straightforward as nurturing and promoting your community’s storytellers can, in my view, be viewed as a form of activism. Another, if one works in a context like mine, is exposing one’s students to the work of your community’s poets and writers…
  • When I started to make translations I was just doing it intuitively, and my tendency was to stick to the original as much as possible. Then I gained more confidence in my own poetry and my own writing and I began to become less concerned about being strictly faithful to the original and more concerned with producing a good poem in English. What I have often found—especially in the translations that are done by scholars—is that they’re very faithful to the content of the original language, but in English they don’t really sound that good as poems.
  • The advice to any young poet is to embrace your freedom and not feel constrained to write in one particular way or only about one particular topic. If they’re Latino poets, I would encourage them not only to read widely, but also to read Latino poetry, to familiarize themselves with their particular tradition within American literature…
  • At the risk of over-generalizing, my sense is that American poetry, where popular culture is concerned, is a poetry of freedom and permission—that there are certainly poets who embrace it and have enjoyed success, from a publishing perspective, in embracing it…
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