In 1923, Cola Franzen was born in Hart County, Georgia.
Franzen has published fifteen books of translations, among them poetry, fiction, and criticism by notable Spanish and Latin American authors. She has translated essays on photography as well as work by Cuban art critic and historian Gerardo Mosquera. Her recent publications include Dreams of the Abandoned Seducer, a novel (University of Nebraska Press, 1998; and The Collapsible Couple/ La pareja desmontable, a book of poems in bilingual translation (2000), both by Argentinian-born writer Alicia Borinksy. Other authors whose work she translates regularly include Saúl Yurkievich (Argentinian), Juan Cameron (Chilean), and Antonio José Ponte (Cuban). Her other tranlations include Poems of Arab Andalusia (1989, reprinted 1995) and The Challenge of Comparative Literature (1993), by Claudio Guillén, son of the poet Jorge Guillén.
Cola Franzen lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.