Martín Espada: Poetry Reading
Thu, October 15, 2009
Called "the Latino poet of his generation" and "the Pablo Neruda of North American authors," Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published sixteen books in all as a poet, editor, essayist and translator, including two collections of poems last year:Crucifixion in the Plaza de Armas (Smokestack, 2008), released in England, and La Tumba de Buenaventura Roig (Terranova, 2008), a bilingual edition published in Puerto Rico. The Republic of Poetry, a collection of poems published by Norton in 2006, received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Another collection,Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other books of poetry includeAlabanza: New and Selected Poems (Norton, 2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen (Norton, 2000), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (Norton, 1993), andRebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands (Curbstone, 1990).
He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Robert Creeley Award, the Antonia Pantoja Award, the Charity Randall Citation, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the Premio Fronterizo, two NEA Fellowships, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His poems have appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The Nation and The Best American Poetry. He has also published a collection of essays, Zapata's Disciple (South End, 1998); edited two anthologies, Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination from Curbstone Press (Curbstone, 1994) and El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry(University of Massachusetts, 1997); and released an audiobook of poetry called Now the Dead will Dance the Mambo (Leapfrog, 2004). His work has been translated into ten languages. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is now a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches creative writing and the work of Pablo Neruda.