Martín Espada

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Martín Espada
Martin espada 3644.JPG
Born August 1957 (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Poet, professor, translator
Nationality American
Notable works Imagine the Angels of Bread
Notable awards American Book Award; PEN/Revson Fellowship; Paterson Poetry Prize

Martín Espada (born 1957) is a Latino poet, and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches poetry. Puerto Rico has frequently been featured as a theme in his poems.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was introduced to political activism at an early age by his father, a leader in the Puerto Rican community and the civil rights movement. Espada received a B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a J.D. from Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts). For many years, he worked as a tenant lawyer and a supervisor of a legal services program. In 1982, Espada published his first book of political poems, The Immigrant Iceboy's Bolero, featuring photography by his father. This was followed by Trumpets from the Islands of their Eviction (1987) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands.[2] In 2001, he was named the first Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts.[3]

In 2009, Espada performed in The People Speak a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[4]

Martín Espada lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife Katherine Gilbert Espada and his son Klemente Gilbert-Espada.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet in Residence, 2012
  • International Latino Book Award, 2012
  • Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2012
  • Massachusetts Book Award, 2012
  • USA Simon Fellowship, 2010
  • National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, 2008
  • Premio Fronterizo, 2007
  • Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, 2007
  • Library Journal Best Poetry Books, 2007
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Books, 2007
  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2007
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2006
  • Charity Randall Citation, 2005
  • Robert Creeley Award, 2004
  • American Library Association Notable Book, 2004
  • Antonia Pantoja Award, 2003
  • Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, 2001
  • Independent Publisher Book Award, 1999
  • Pushcart Prize, 1999
  • Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award, 1998
  • Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, 1997
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, 1997
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant, 1996
  • National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 1992
  • Paterson Poetry Prize, 1991
  • PEN/Revson Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, 1989
  • National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 1986
  • Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, 1984.


Books of Poetry[edit]

Books of Essays[edit]

As editor[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]