|Born||May 24, 1948
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Occupation||Poet, visual artist|
|Literary movement||FALN (political)|
Elizam Escobar (May 24, 1948) is a Puerto Rican poet, author and visual artist.
Escobar was born in Puerto Rico's second largest city, Ponce, Puerto Rico, on the southern part of the island. There he received his primary and secondary education. As a child, he always enjoyed drawing and painting. After Escobar graduated from high school he enrolled and attended the University of Puerto Rico to pursue his artistic studies.
During his years as a student, he became actively involved in the Puerto Rican independence movement. He became a member of the underground group called The Armed Forced of Puerto Rican National Liberation (FALN). After he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts, he moved to New York City. In New York he attended the City College of New York. Escobar also taught art at the Museo del Barrio's School of the Arts from 1979 to 1980.
On April 4, 1980, Escobar was among eleven FALN members arrested by the FBI in Evanston, Illinois under the suspicion of plotting to bomb Federal installations. They were charged with seditious conspiracy and related charges. During and after the trail he sustained his position that he and the others were prisoners of war. Escobar was sentenced to a prison term of 68 years which was to be served in the federal prison of El Reno, Oklahoma. On September 7, 1999, Escobar and the ten other prisoners who were arrested with him were granted clemency by President Bill Clinton. Escobar returned to Puerto Rico immediately upon his release.
During his incarceration, Escobar used his free time to produce much of his art work. He also wrote about art and his theories about art were published in journals like Rethinking Marxism, third Test and Left Curve. Escobar argued against the use of art as political propaganda and was in favor of artistic autonomy. While serving his prison term, a series of his art work, which he titled Art as an Act of Liberation, was exhibited in the following galleries:
- The Axe Street Arena
- Galeria Kalpulli
- Polvo in Chicago 
- Casa de Arte y Cultura/Calles y Sueños, Chicago
- Rafael Cintrón-Ortiz Cultural Center in Chicago; at the ABC No Rio Gallery in New York City
- The Dissident Voices Gallery in Philadelphia
- In various cities in Puerto Rico.
Among the magazines which have published his works are: Beginnings, Currents, Left Curve, De Pie y En Lucha and Polvo. His poems have been published in the Anthology of Latino Poets in New York. In 2013, he published the book Anti-diario de Prisión: El beso del pensamiento. and displayed at Centro Cultural Carmen Solá de Pereira.
Escobar is currently the Dean of the Painting Department of the School of Fine Arts (Escuela de Artes Plásticas) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His paintings have been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and in the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. He has authored two books, "Speech in the Night" and "Sonia Semenovena", published by Quinera editors.
- Oscar López Rivera
- List of Puerto Rican writers
- List of Famous Puerto Ricans
- Puerto Rican literature
- CATEGORIES OF IDENTITY AND THE TRANSFIXED FACE OF ART
- Al reencuentro con Elizam Escobar. Reinaldo Millán. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- Independent Platform for Contemporary Puerto Rican Art
- Plastic Arts. TravelPonce. Retrieved July 13, 2012.