All My Heroes are Broke72dpiCO (1)

Ariel Francisco is the quintessential poet’s poet, by which I mean poetry is his constant, necessary companion. His speaker is always reading—Keats, Basho, Lorca, James Wright, Tu Fu, Emily Dickinson, Bukowski, and others—in bars and on subways, on balconies and at breakfast tables, in Miami and New York City. Francisco knows life is both preposterous and sublime, sometimes simultaneously, and his meditations will dazzle you. Perceptive, wise, and enduring, these poems will become necessary companions to all those who read All My Heroes Are Broke. I predict the very best of the next generation will write poems with titles like “Reading Ariel Francisco on the Metromover.”

—Denise Duhamel, author of Scald


BSAR FrontIn Before Snowfall, After Rain, Ariel Francisco writes, “I was born in the city/ that never sleeps so perhaps/ insomnia is my birthright.” Surely poetry is his birthright, too, the way Francisco never fails in every poem to make us see the ordinary world anew, even transfigured. In these poems, “morning arrives like an express train” and “winter arrives every year like a janitor,” “the sky cr[ies] its apologies” and “the breeze ghost-/ writes the ocean’s sorrow into tumbling waves.” Here is a poet who, with skillful grace, graphs the heart’s great landscape onto the natural world, showing how even water can be “jilted” like a lover, how “Even dead stars give us their light.”

— Julie Marie Wade, author of Six and When I Was Straight