Espada, Martin 1994

Wednesday, November 9, 1994


In the republic of poetry,
a train full of poets
rolls south in the rain
as plum trees rock
and horses kick the air,
and village bands
parade down the aisle
with trumpets, with bowler hats,
followed by the president
of the republic,
shaking every hand.

– Martin Espada, “The Republic of Poetry”

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Read this interview with Martin Espada from Poetry Daily:

Poetry Daily Prose Feature: An Interview with Martin Espada

(South End, 1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This interview took place on March 23, 2014, in Martín Espada’s study at his home in Amherst, Massachusetts, a month after his father, Frank Espada, the eminent photographer and community activist, died of heart disease in San Francisco.

Forty years ago, I bled in this hallway.
Half-light dimmed the brick
like the angel of public housing.
That night I called and listened at every door:
in 1966, there was a war on television.

– Martin Espada, “Return”

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Watch Martin Espada discuss poetry and activism:

Martín Espada discusses poetry and activism

In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life, poet and activist Naomi Ayala interviews poet, translator, essayist and activist Martín Espada. The deaths of five good friends sparked Espada’s newest book, The Trouble Ball. “I had to find a way to grapple with the deaths of these dear people, but I didn’t want these to be the normal elegies,” Espada explains.

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