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Martin Espada

Sandra Cisneros says: “Martín Espada is the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.” Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published thirteen books in all as a poet, essayist, editor and translator. His eighth collection of poems, The Republic of Poetry, was published by Norton in October, 2006. Of this new collection, Samuel Hazo writes: "Espada unites in these poems the fierce allegiances of Latin American poetry to freedom and glory with the democratic tradition of Whitman, and the result is a poetry of fire and passionate intelligence." A previous book, Alabanza: New and Selected Poems, 1982-2002 (Norton, 2003), received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was named an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year. An earlier 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 include A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (Norton, 2000), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (Norton, 1993), and Rebellion 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, an Independent Publisher Book Award, a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, the Charity Randall Citation, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and two NEA Fellowships. He recently received a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His poems have appeared in 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 on CD, called Now the Dead will Dance the Mambo (Leapfrog, 2004). His most recent work is Crucifixion in the Plaza De Armas Smokestack Books, 2008. Much of his poetry arises from his Puerto Rican heritage and his work experiences, ranging from bouncer to tenant lawyer. Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches creative writing and the work of Pablo Neruda. See also [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsUygq2hDOY[/youtube]
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