My next book is here.

Franci Louann’s Argentina Two / Uruguay Too / Cuba Tambien is a delightful follow up to her earlier Argentina poesia. This volume is a rich, playful but serious romp through her travel adventures in three Latino cultures. Louann creates a hybrid form she calls poemoirs. Through her use of “Spanglish”, readers will find themselves awakening inside another language. The pleasures of wine and exotic food merge with politics, social commentary, and intimate interconnections with friends and strangers. Louann’s poems invite us to taste, touch, smell, hear, and see more deeply our ca­pacity for intercommunion. The secular and the sacred become as one: “no soy católica / but somehow / it’s about godliness / Sunday morning / in the cathedral’s souvenir shop.”

—Susan McCaslin, poet and author of Heart Work

Argentina Two / Uruguay Too / Cuba Tambien offers a study of moments in verse, bringing the tiny, everyday moments of its locales into photographic focus. Exploring with an outsider’s eyes, Franci Louann finds meaning and insight hidden in the details of the storied and seemingly mundane alike. Readers will learn the importance of the colour of ice cream, the busywork behind recycling, the angles which drive pedestrians, and the difference a quarter can make to the quality of your coffee. This is not only a travelogue resounding through history, but an instructional guide to seeing the little things in the wider world through the eyes of an artist.

—Kyle Hawke, poet and author of whispers of humanity

Franci Louann’s new collection of poetry Argentina Two / Uruguay Too / Cuba Tambien has an im­mediacy and intimacy to it that is felt throughout every line and in every word. As she explores travel, friendship, politics and her own inner dialogue she brings storytelling to life in shining and delicious detail. Franci writes on a breadth of topics, from romance to the enjoyment of wine and cherished encounters with compadres and strangers throughout her exploration of culture, time and place. Franci takes moments and expands them into galaxies of verse, that invite her readers in to stay awhile beneath the warmth of a Spanglish sun.

—Elliott Slinn, New Westminster’s Poet Laureate 2021 – 2024

Franci Louann lives and writes in New Westminster, BC, which she calls “Qayqaytland”, to honour the First Peoples there. Born Frances Louann Workman, she was first published as Fran Workman, in Dorothy Livesay’s last anthology, Woman’s Eye: 12 BC poets (Air, 1974). In 2010 Lipstick Press published Franci Louann’s Beach Cardiology. Franci co-founded Poetic Justice in New Westminster in 2010. A branch which became Poets Corner continues in Vancouver. Franci co-managed Spoken Word Open Mic monthly at Braid Stage, l00 Braid Street Studios. This series was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Argentina Two, Uruguay Too, Cuba Tambien is part of a series of books of poetry by Franci Louann. The manuscripts here include her poems which feature her “Spanglish.” They are poemoirs, or rapportage about travel experiences.

Available for purchase online via paypal at

Contact Ekstasis for details or to arrange appearances, events or media opportunities.

For further information: Richard Olafson or Carol Sokoloff phone & fax: (250) 385-3378




First, here are photos of me doing some readings. (Sorry about the layout here. Oh, it’s better at the bottom. I’ll leave those there instead. Duh. )

Honing my craft as a poet was always important, since my English class in first year Dental Hygiene at the University of Toronto. I had submitted a (probably pathetic) ballad-style poem to her (no one seems to remember her name) and she gave me this advice.



This is one of my shortest poems, and definitely my longest title. With it, I came 4th in the 1st round of a Poetry Slam at Café Deux Soleils on June 7, 2010 (Mom’s birthday). In the 2nd round, I maintained my 4th place with “THE THREE Rs OF POETRY”.  Got a prize. There is/was a Poetic Justice/Facebook/YouTube video of me/this poem, also one at LitFest, along with other tiny poems.

There I am, still preferring to “shout” my titles. In full capital letters, bolded even. Almost all of them. Do other poets vary how they create their titles? I know it might depend on the publication’s guidelines. I’d like for my titles to be different from the texts of the poems, in some ways. Maybe my titles have been distracting or annoying for some judges or editors. How best not to distract or annoy? I’ll stop bolding them.

I still like Arial font, for its simplicity. Why use a serif, when a non-serif letter will do? Well, Calvin Wharton told me why, and he was a typesetter. If you type the word “ill”, for example, with a capital “I” – “Ill” is hard to read. (Is that first letter really wider?)

These days, while I’m rewriting, I’m asking lots of punctuation what it’s doing there.

For decades I was not using periods in my poems. Now I’m still embracing a “new kind of narrative”, which I see/hear is popular. Who’d have thought that I might find periods “refreshing”, along with some capital where appropriate?

Incredibly, while at Douglas College studying poetry (Introduction in 2011 with Liz Bachinsky, Advanced in 2015 with Calvin Wharton) I did not question their “GPS” (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) rule as applied to poetry. Perhaps my sarcasm (or subtle passive-aggressiveness) was not recognized when I produced my Perfectly Punctuated Poetry Portfolio as a chapbook at the end of the first course. Such a publication was not required till the end of the second course. It was halfway through that term that I realized that they meant to have different “rules” for poetry. Perhaps that syllabus has been rewritten.

These days I’m not banning periods. But I am removing many ellipses, some of which have been used improperly, I confess. They are “three periods” each.

I’m also deleting many of my “long, sexy em dashes”, of which I have been quite fond.

After all, I am not Emily Dickinson, though I admire her work greatly. Her very long (hand-written) dashes went sometimes up and other times down. She was light years ahead of her time and maybe even ahead of us now. We still don’t have symbols on our keyboards for her dashes. “Forward slash” and backward slash” just won’t do.

Yes, I’m removing exclamation marks, those “screamers”. Thank you, my friends.

And I’ve been removing lots of white space, where I’ve had three or five spaces. Most times I’m adding a comma instead. Horrors? I do resist having commas dangle on the ends of lines. That use of white space seems to be enough. Commas? (We poets do still need to sweat over those?)

What about self-publications? Our little chapbooks. I’ve made quite a few. I plan to purchase one of those long staplers so I can do more myself. Or maybe I’ll let Bryan at Royal City Mail do more of the work. Or maybe I’ll never ever self-publish again. There were so few copies made, perhaps they shouldn’t count at all. Perhaps I’ll consider those to be early drafts of submissions to publishers, and rethink them a lot.

I give publishing credits on the same pages as my single poems, as a way of tracking. Also, this year, I have started a spreadsheet. (Oh, Franci, Don’t forget that spreadsheet. I need to learn how to add more lines and columns, as insertions.) But, with these little works with manuscripts made and a few given away or sold, how to be honest about whether these have been self-“published”, and where? Should I search for each poem title, before making a submission? Perhaps I should consult with my mentors at Douglas College about that.

What do you think? Have you written about your own style of poetics and how it might be changing? When you make a submission, do you consider the style of the poetry judge, or the editor? It seems that many poems could be adapted to other styles. Would you say something about the style in the keywords?

Do you use keywords? I have always signed my single poem files with my name, my email address, and the date the poem was typed in. One summer I started adding keywords to all my poems. That took months. Another ruse to avoid submissions? I did claim to have submission-phobia. Friends expressed surprise and were supportive. That helped for a while.

Also I’ve claimed to have my-own-blog-phobia. But, here we are again, just not as soon as planned. This post is in aid of, or in homage to, Poetry Month – April. It is likely that I’ve mentioned poetry every day this month on Facebook.

Facebook is my blah, blah, blog? What do you think?

I resolve to get over my-own-blog phobia.

Duh, it has been more than 3 months since my last entry. Let’s start easily. Some of you may have read this. (More “news” soon.)  WOW & Whew! That worked well. My birthday pictures.



We took the bus to Villa Elisa – ½ hour, see poem. I’ll delete line breaks to save space.


those birds sing   so earnestly   at 4 a.m.

guests for lunch   sisters long separate   peace lilies in a vase

this long green beak   piercing eyes of indigo   orange crown flashing

this bird-of-paradise   this bloom

against grey sky   jacaranda purple   more royal than ever

as we say goodnight   on the sidewalk   two snails kiss

Franci Louann   November 2007

Second Prize, Kisses and Popsicles Contest 2009,

Sent with 2nd set of three poems when deadline was extended.

Published in the Royal City Poets anthology 2012 (Silver Bow Publishing)

Gee, I’d forgotten – I have translated that one into Spanish/castellano.

I felt we could count on Natalina’s family for a good fiesta. I suggested El Boyo restaurant, just across the plaza. Natalia/Naty/Nati? reserved a table for six, for the 8-30 setting. Her dad Enrique and his partner Susana would join us.

Natalina and José prepared lunch for us three. They were cutting a very long piece of beef. Some went to the freezer. Our steaks were grilled on top of the stove. The meat was extraordinarily tender. I asked what cut it was. Lomo, tenderloin, filet mignon! We had enough for seconds. This was served with roasted potatoes and carrots and mixed salad, both with basil, my favourite addition. I felt loved.

By the way, when Natalina or Carmen prepare a meal, I’m usually so overwhelmed, I forget to take a picture. So I have a photo halfway through Natalina’s lunch for me. Yes, of the second serving of lomo.

At El Boyo I ordered pasta – ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach. The sauce was crema with ham and mushrooms. For “appetizers”, someone had ordered deep-fried calamari (there were gorgeous big succulent pieces) and French fries. Stella Artois and Lopez Malbec were our beverages (with water for Natalina).

Susana tipped off the waiter and a tall slice of ice cream cake appeared with a candle for me, when we were done. As people clapped and sang, I got three wishes. (I was thankful that we shared that dessert.)

After dinner, we went back to Natalina’s, where I knew there was a cake in the fridge. It was a huge package that had arrived that afternoon. I was pleased to see that a tall candle was responsible for its height. This was a meringue and raspberry cake with dulce de leche filling, served with cider in tall celebratory glasses. Delicious.

We overnighted with Natalina’s “Sheraton treatment” – she even irons her sheets. For breakfast I enjoyed the rest of my pasta and another piece of birthday cake, before we returned to La Plata.


me gusta La Plata   me encanta La Plata   I love La Plata

with its plazas   its trees, el verde, the green                                 

       linden trees   tilia   la ciudad de los tilos   city of linden blossoms

streets are numbered   avenidas wider

       las diagonales   mas misteriosas   the diagonals, more mysterious

the locals know   walking the diagonals   saves time;

we foreigners   are cautious

       la ciudad de las diagonales   city of diagonals

Plaza Moreno is central   the largest, longer

with its giant cathedral   Italian style   built a century before

Museo de La Plata   dinosaurs from Patagonia

some of world’s best natural history   since 1888

me encanta   La Plata

       Franci Louann   December 22, 2011

Last year my age was evenly divisible by both five and ten. I like to celebrate those days in style, but we just couldn’t do it, as we’d had a death in the family. My sister Mariann’s partner of twenty-five years, Lloyd, had died the year before. Lloyd and I were born in the same year. We had celebrated many birthdays together. He had been generous.

So this year I wanted a “Fiesta Latina” and that’s what we had. Last year was a good year for me. I liked being that age.

Mariann and I are close in age. Next summer, July 16th, she will have that same “evenly divisible by ten” birthday. I hope that we will be able to celebrate in style.

Franci Louann     March 10, 2017

THE 50th BIRTHDAY PARTY – remembered, cinquains

at my fiftieth   spontaneously I invite   everyone born in my year

to join me in an unrehearsed   cancan / chorus line dance

one man, one woman and myself;

I forgot   they both have   “hip issues”—   I don’t mean trendy

this is a touch of mortality   not to be confused   with morbidity

encouraging   humility

Franci Louann   March 29, 2007



Here we are in La Boca, where the tango was born.



the airport crowd—familiar faces surprise us;

our driver, eyes blue-green as a rare lake


spring in Buenos Aires, some cherry blossoms, will there be more?

Recoleta, the artists´ market, our first souvenirs


at Florida and Lavalle the music entrances—why your smile across the crowd?

later, my camera gone


at the internet café, a power failure, my dos pesos refused;

confusion at the bank machine—a man asks, are six hundred pesos ours?


a kiss on Córdoba—young lovers, spring afternoon;

rainy day on Córdoba—that red shirt—half-price? no


Mother´s Day     a young man sleeps in a doorway

at the orchid store, they are filling a taxi with flowers


Avenida de Nueve de Julio   ninth of July, Independence Day;

world’s widest street—strong wind at kiosk—we all pick up post cards


Monument for the Victims of Terrorism by the State

by the wide brown river, where some disappeared


two red umbrellas at Nueve de Julio—we need two green lights to cross;

long hair before us—ebony, brunette and blonde—a ‘shampoo commercial’


jacaranda blossoms—tiny purple trumpets blanket plazas

pigeons hide in dark branches


narrow sidewalks—walking is like the tango

would lessons help?


Franci Louann   October 2007 – March 2008

Argentina   travel   nature   trees    flowers

Argentina’s independence was won on July 9, 1816.

Honourable Mention Kisses and Popsicles (spring) contest 2009,

Sent with 2nd set of three poems, when deadline was extended.


Mary, in every nativity scene, wears a hijab. Well, maybe it is technically a “veil”. Women have had to wear head-covering in churches until 1981, sometimes just black lace. I remember school day tours of cathedrals, when we were required to put even just a “Kleenex” on our heads to show appropriate respect.

Recently a friend was purchasing Christmas ornaments for a tree for the Domestic Violence Response Team. Different colours were packed together. She decided to get purple and silver, “their colours”. A couple were standing there in front of the tall stack of decorations. The woman, who was wearing a hijab, asked my friend (in perfect English) why she had chosen those colours. That woman went on to explain that this was their first Christmas in Canada. A Christian couple had given them a tree and they wanted to decorate it, without offending those friends. They wondered what colours they should select. My friend said that they should choose the colours they liked best – that this is what Christmas is all about. The woman smiled, reached up and took a package of turquoise and silver balls.

This is a true story. Josie just told it at our Century House Association chairpersons’ meeting. I gave her a standing ovation and a hug afterwards. I think it would be good for our whole country if this story could be shared from coast to coast to coast. (Some new immigrants are going “north”, yes?)

A funny but sort of sad comment to finish is, in my rush to share a moving story, I misspelled “hijab”. This proves that I probably hadn’t even said it aloud. (I often say, about most words – if you can say it, you can spell it.) I need to pay attention and practice Arab words.

“Show-up at the NWPL Corral”… — Franci Louann

December 1st is my day to mount my first solo art show at the New Westminster library, main branch, in the upstairs gallery. 6th Avenue, between 6th & 8th Streets. (Not that I expect that I will ever have another art show…) Hope you can “show up”. They liked my “Santa Series”! The selection committee […]

via “Show-up at the NWPL Corral”… — Franci Louann

“Show-up at the NWPL Corral”…

December 1st is my day to mount my first solo art show at the New Westminster library, main branch, in the upstairs gallery. 6th Avenue, between 6th & 8th Streets. (Not that I expect that I will ever have another art show…) Hope you can “show up”.

They liked my “Santa Series”! The selection committee knew of my poetry and invited that as well. I just happen to have ekphrastic poetry, inspired by my own artwork.

In addition to the Mr & Mrs Santa portraits, I’ll have my “Two Dimensions”, inspired by the “Wait for Me, Daddy” photo. That, my first framed piece, was accepted for the inaugural Community Gallery show at the Anvil Centre opening in 2014. (The original has sold.) I’ll also present some framed originals from my “Mia Series” and some portraits of friends and family.

“Mia” – that may have been the name of our model in my only life drawing experience. I didn’t know that the initial two-minute poses were for “warm-up”, so I was done in two minutes. I am your occasional visual artist, preferring felt pen on cream card stock. On some few occasions, the muse has visited. (I wonder if she will ever visit again.)

My “Blue Santa”, BTW, has astonished me so far. Was informed that our city would like to purchase use of the image for their holiday card for the Parks & Recreation Department. The cheque is in the mail? You may see him & his friends in my gallery here at my blog. Thanks for visiting (& thank you to Mrs Claus who invited me to do their portrait).


Update re Confession

Earlier this year I “confessed” at Beacon Unitarian that I had “submission-phobia”. People were astonished. Thanks to a little support from some Beacon members, I have been making more artistic submissions.

My poem on a Shakespeare theme, “Life as a Mortal Coil”, won second prize in the Burnaby Writers’ Society contest.

My  contour drawing, “Mr & Mrs Santa #3” (in blue), was chosen by the City of New Westminster for its holiday card for Parks and Recreation use.

The “Santa Series” (six drawings) will be part of my first (& probably last) solo show at the NW library this December. Christmas art cards are $2 or 10 for $15. You may see these at Century House Artists’ Fair on December 3rd. The drawings are here in my Gallery.

I did say that I would finish the story about that horse in the photo in my last post. This giant Percheron (I’m 99% sure of the breed) is  one of many that I have admired at the stables near Burnaby Lake. It was a rescue horse, not wanted because it was “the wrong colour”. The new owner had to get a custom-made saddle and bridle for her steed. She can be seen riding around the lake with a friend on a much smaller equine companion. I love this story. I think this is one of the biggest horses I have ever seen.