Martin Espada BBF 2010 Shankbone

Martin Espada in 2010. Photo by David Shankbone. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Martín Espada
Born 1957
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Poet, professor
Nationality American
Notable work(s) Imagine the Angels of Bread
Notable award(s) American Book Award; PEN/Revson Fellowship; Paterson Poetry Prize

Martín Espada (born 1957) is a Latino American poet, essayist, translator, and academic. Puerto Rico has frequently been featured as a theme in his poems.[1]


Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York City. 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 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.[3]

Espada lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife Catherine (Gilbert) and his son Klemente Gilbert-Espada. He is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches poetry.


In 2001, Espada was named the first Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts.[4]


  • Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, for Poetry, and Alabanza: New and Selected Poems
  • Robert Creeley Award
  • Antonia Pantoja Award
  • Independent Publisher Book Award
  • Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award
  • PEN/Revson Fellowship
  • NEA Fellowships.
  • Massachusetts Artist's Fellowship
  • Paterson Poetry Prize
  • United States Artists Fellow Award [5]



  • The Immigrant Iceboy's Bolero (with photographs by father, Frank Espada). Madison, WI: Ghost Pony Press, 1982.
  • Trumpets from the Islands of Their Eviction. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press, 1987
    • expanded edition, 1994.
  • Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1990.
  • City of Coughing and Dead Radiators. New York: Norton, 1993.
  • Imagine the Angels of Bread: Poems. New York: Norton, 1996.
  • A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen: Poems. New York: Norton, 2000.
  • Alabanza: New and selected poems, 1982-2002. New York: Norton, 2003.
  • The Republic of Poetry. New York: Norton, 2006.
  • Crucifixion in the Plaza de Armas. Middlesbrough, UK: Smokestack Books, 2008.
  • The Trouble Ball: Poems. New York: Norton, 2011.


  • Zapata's Disciple (essays and some poetry). South End Press, 1998.
  • The Lover of a Subversive is Also a Subversive: Essays and commentaries. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2010.


  • The Blood that Keeps Singing: Selected poems of Clemente Soto Velez. (translated with Camilo Perez-Bustillo). Curbstone Press, 1991.


  • Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the political imagination from Curbstone Press. Curbstone Press, 1994
    • New and expanded edition, 2000.
  • El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[2]

Audio / video Edit

Martín Espada Reads "The Year I Was Diagnosed with a Sacrilegious Heart"

Martín Espada Reads "The Year I Was Diagnosed with a Sacrilegious Heart"

Martin Espada - Alabanza

Martin Espada - Alabanza

  • Martin Espada (cassette). Kansas City, MO: University of Missouri, [199-?]
  • Passwords: Martin Espada on Pablo Neruda. New York: Poets House, 1996.
  • Zapata's Disciple (cassette). Boulder, CO: Alternative Radio, 2000.
  • Now the Dead Will Dance the Mambo (CD). Wellfleet, MA : Leapfrog Press, 2004.
  • Remembering Well & Raising Hell (CD). Boulder, CO: Alternative Radio, 2014.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[6]

See alsoEdit



  1. Academy of American Poets profile
  2. 2.0 2.1 Martin Espada b. 1957, Poetry Foundation, Web, Sep. 10, 2012.
  3. The People Speak
  4. Biographical note, Martin Espada Papers, 1957-2006, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections. Web, Apr. 26, 2018.
  5. United States Artists Official Website
  6. Search results = au:Martin Espada + audiobook, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, June 13, 2015.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).