Author: Francisco Márquez

Location / Acclimation

The last thing my workshop professor told me as my MFA’s first semester concluded was: you get three significant breaks: winter, summer, winter—write, use them well. Then she said something about something magnificent always happening during a break, but the pressure of having to produce work was enough for me to worry about. I flew back to Florida to visit my family, naturally—to make the story short—not much work was done—(two poems?) which I feel many people would see as miraculous progress, but I tend to throw away most of what I write anyway, so who am I kidding? Someone in my program told me that Roger Reeves told them that reading is also writing, so, in any case in that sense, I was productive as hell. But, I guess, the question I’m dancing around is: how much work is expected of us in the MFA? And, where does self-discipline come in? I don’t know if it’s the classes I took this semester, teaching methods, or whether I’m just not feeling poetry at the moment, …

First Times, Community & Superstitions

What can I say? It’s going well. Well, that’s no good. It’s hard and it’s not about the classes. Only just a little, but it’s so much more. It’s the classes and when you’re not in class and when you’re in the city trying to get your shit together and the shit will not stick. Upon writing this I was thinking about my first month in the program and how much I have learned inside the classroom and how much I’ve learned outside. I also evaluated my first month weighing out the good and bad things. Back home in Venezuela, and I think people do this in other countries too, when the new year arrives and it’s January 1st people tend to pay extra attention to the first twelve days of the year. They say that each day will mirror the general mood of its respective, attributable month (i.e. Jan 1: January; Jan 2: February…) That’s how I saw this first month and it wasn’t exactly the most pleasant month, which is why when I …

Francisco Márquez Introduction (New York University ’17)

Image: Vincent Desjardins As for the poet thing, this is the story I like to tell some people: My grandfather was an art collector. He was the son of farmers from Italy who at the age of eighteen decided to enlist in the Second World War, and then upon surviving, moved to Venezuela to start a life in a country that would with the passing days turn into the mecca of the world’s oil industry. I never met him. I just met him through the looming ghosts of his artwork, and the art he feverishly collected. So much so that when he died, his art gallery, the one he built given his enormous support for local artists, failed, and as a solution for the space, it was converted into my grandmother’s house. I spent a large portion of my time in an art gallery turned grandmother’s abode: sleek white walls with studio lighting inhabited by floral-pattern green sofas and 1960s glass tables. I tell people that growing up in a bubble of art in Venezuela, …