Rhina Espaillat

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Rhina P. Espaillat (b. 1932, Dominican Republic) is a bilingual American poet and translator who has published eleven collections of poetry.

Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932; in 1939 the family was exiled and emigrated to the United States. She is a graduate of Hunter College. She taught English in the New York City public schools for many years, and retired to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where for more than a decade she has led a group of New Formalist poets known as the Powow River Poets.[1][2]

Espaillat writes in both English and Spanish, and has become the most prominent translator of the poetry of Robert Frost into Spanish[citation needed]. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The American Scholar, and many other journals. She is a two-time winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and she judged the 2012 Contest. Her second poetry collection, Where Horizons Go, was published by Truman State University Press in conjunction with her selection for the 1998 T. S. Eliot Prize. Her 2001 collection, Rehearsing Absence, was published by University of Evansville Press after winning the Richard Wilbur Award.

Her work has been included in many popular anthologies, including The Heath Introduction to Poetry (Heath 2000); The Muse Strikes Back (Story Line Press 1997); and In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the U.S. (Arte Publico Press 1994). She's also known for her English translations of the work of St. John of the Cross, which have been appearing in the American journal, First Things.

Espaillat is married to Alfred Moskowitz; the couple has three children.[1]


  1. ^ a b Monsour, Leslie (November 6, 2008). "Welcome, Rhina Espaillat". Eratosphere. 
  2. ^ Nicol, Alfred, ed. (2006). The Powow River Antology. Ocean Press. ISBN 9780976729150. OCLC 65189339. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Rhina P. Espaillat". The Poetry Foundation.  Short biography of the poet.
  • Archive of Rhina Espaillat's Translations of St. John of the Cross in First Things [1]