Martín Espada, "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: A Poetry Reading" [VIDEO]

CSREA, Lippitt House, 96 Waterman Street, Room 103

Please join us for a reading, discussion, and book signing with Martín Espada, celebrated poet and Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He will be reading from his latest collection of poems, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed.

The heart of this collection is a series of poems about the death of the poet’s father; “El Moriviví” uses the metaphor of a plant that grows in Puerto Rico and the meaning of its name—“I died/I lived”—to celebrate the many lives of Frank Espada, community organizer, civil rights activist and documentary photographer, from a jailhouse in Mississippi to the streets of Brooklyn. A poet long committed to the struggle for social justice, Martín Espada also confronts communal grief and advocates collective action in poems such as “How We Could Have Lived or Died This Way,” about police violence against people of color.

“Espada at his brilliant best.”–Junot Díaz

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Free and open to the public. Please contact us to make arrangements for wheelchair access. 

Cosponsored by the U.S. Latino Studies Fund and the Department of Literary Arts.

About Martín Espada

Called by Sandra Cisneros "the Pablo Neruda of North American poets, " Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry(2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands (1990).

​His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata's Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and will be reissued in a new edition this fall. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston's Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

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