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Martín Espada

Martín Espada

David González

​Martín Espada has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). His many honors include the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Espada’s poetics involves advocating for invisible people, bringing “the rest” of them out of the darkness. Read more

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Text of a speech delivered to the Wisconsin Fellowship of Protests, November 3, 2012, in Stevens Point, Wis. Read more

Dispatches

This poem is about a hate crime. It’s also about Donald Trump’s idea of hell: empathy. Read more

Dispatches

A poem by Martín Espada. Image credits: Jason Espada, Patrick Sylvain. Read more

Magazine

General Pinochet at the Bookstore Santiago, Chile, July 2004The general's limo parked at the corner of San Diego streetand his bodyguards escorted him to the bookstorecalled La Oportunidad, so he could browsefor rare works of history.There were n... Read more

Dispatches

Not long ago, I read an article by Matt Rothschild on The Progressive website called, "Banned in Tucson." This was the first time I had seen the actual reading list of the forbidden Mexican-American Studies Department. Read more

Dispatches

If the earth of Lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers stood before 9/11 is sacred ground, then all the people who died that day in those towers are sacred too. All the people -- including the immigrant workers who kept all 100+ floors clean, safe... Read more

Dispatches