This anthology began with an innuendo: the unnamed advisor to President George W. Bush who was quoted in the New York Times in 2004 as saying of Massachusetts’ senator John Kerry . . . that Kerry “looks French.” This was not intended as a compliment.
. . . what does it mean to look – or to sound – French . . . or more specifically, Franco-American? Even just thinking casually about this question highlighted the issue . . . for the majority of Americans, if the term itself brought any image to mind, it was likely a red-and-white can of bland spaghetti. . . why is Franco-American so occult an identity in America?
The vision for this anthology was not that it would define Franco-American in any essentialist way and it was not even to collect a group of poems on the theme of French identity. Instead what I had in mind was to bring some measure of visibility to Franco-American through a simple gathering of poets you might well never have thought of holding this particular component of identity in common and letting the poets speak for themselves: in their short bio-essays and in their poems, to provide a forum from which one could hear the wide spectrum of what it might mean to “sound French.” And that is definitely intended as a compliment, though you may find it means things you didn’t expect.
last updated 6/18/2007
Copyright Christine Gelineau 2007. All rights reserved.