Martín Espada

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Martín Espada
Martin espada 3644.JPG
Born (1957-08-07) 7 August 1957 (age 61)
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 2018, Espada received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a lifetime achievement award given by the Poetry Foundation to a living U.S. poet that carries a $100,000 prize. Espada was the first Latino recipient of the honor.[4]

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.[5]

Martín Espada lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, 1984
  • National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 1986
  • PEN/Revson Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, 1989
  • Paterson Poetry Prize, 1991
  • National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 1992
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant, 1996
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, 1997
  • Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, 1997
  • Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award, 1998
  • Pushcart Prize, 1999
  • Independent Publisher Book Award, 1999
  • Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, 2001
  • Antonia Pantoja Award, 2003
  • American Library Association Notable Book, 2004
  • Robert Creeley Award, 2004[6]
  • Charity Randall Citation, 2005
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2006
  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2007
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Books, 2007
  • Library Journal Best Poetry Books, 2007
  • Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, 2007
  • Premio Fronterizo, 2007
  • National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, 2008
  • USA Simon Fellowship, 2010
  • Massachusetts Book Award, 2012
  • Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2012
  • International Latino Book Award, 2012
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet in Residence, 2012
  • Busboys and Poets Award, 2014
  • Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, 2018[7]


Books of poetry[edit]

Books of essays[edit]

As editor[edit]

In anthology[edit]

  • Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, University of Georgia Press, 2018, ISBN 9780820353159

See also[edit]


External links[edit]