Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Martín Espada

(1957-    )
New York & Massachusetts

Martín Espada's parents immigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico and settled in New York. Martín was born in 1957; he grew up Brooklyn. He practiced law as a tenant lawyer and is now a professor of English literature at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he teaches creative writing, Latino poetry, and the work of Pablo Neruda.

Espada's seventh collection of poetry, Alabanza: New and Selected Poems (1982-2002) was published in the 2003 by W.W. Norton and Company. His previous collections include Imagine the Angels of Bread (W.W. Norton and Company, 1996) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands (Curbstone,1990). He is also the author of a book of essays, Zapata's Disciple, published by South End Press in 1998.

Martín Espada
Personal website

Martín Espada
Modern American Poetry

Martín Espada
Academy of American Poets

Martín Espada


Interview with Matt Rothschild
[YouTube video]

YouTube Videos: Readings

"Imagine the Angels of Bread"

"Mariano Explains Yanqui Colonialism to Judge Collins"
"Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100"

"Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100"

"Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100"

["Imagine the Angels of Bread," "Mariano Explains Yanqui Colonialm to Judge Collins," & "Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100," in Martín Espada, Alabanza: New and Selected Peoms 1982-2002 117-119, 45, 231-232 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2003)]

"The Day We Buried You in the Park"
[UConn Co-op, March 18, 2010]

"All the People Who Are Now Red Trees"
[Rosenberg Fund for Children's "Celebrate the Children of Resistance," Boston, Massachusetts, June 19, 2007]

A Reading
[Ledbury Poetry Festival--2008]


Martín Espada, The Immigrant Iceboy's Bolero (Madison, Wisconsin: Ghost Pony Press, 1982)(Natick, Massachusetts: Cordillera Press, 1982)(Cordillera Press, 1983)(Cordillera Press, 1984)(Maplewood, New Jersey: Waterfront Press, 1986)(New York: Waterfront Press, 1987)

___________, Trumpets from the Islands of Their Eviction (Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 1987)(expanded ed., 1994)

___________, Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands (Willimantic, Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 1990)

___________, City of Coughing and Dead Radiators: Poems (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1993)

___________, Imagine the Angels of Bread: Poems (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1996)

___________, A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen: Poems (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2000)

___________, Alabanza: New and Selected Poems 1982-2002 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003)

___________, The Republic of Poetry (New York: W.W. Norton, 2006)

___________, Crucifixion in the Plaza de Armas (Middlesbrough: United Kingdom: Smokestack Books, 2008)


Brian Herny & Andrew Zawacki (eds.), The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft and Culture (Verse Press, 2005)


Martín Espada, The Lover of a Subversive is Also a Subversive: Essays and Commentaries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010)

____________, Zapata's Disciple: Essays (Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1998)

Martín Espada (ed.), El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997)

___________ (ed.), Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination (Willimantic, Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 1994)(Curbstone Press, expanded ed., 2000)


Clemente Soto Vélez, The Blood That Keeps Singing (La sangre que sigue cantando): Selected Poems of Clemente Soto Vélez (Willimantic, Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 1991)(Martín Espada and Camilo Pérez-Bustillo trans.)


The Wheelbarrow and the Coqui, 6 (4) UMass (alumni magazine) Summer, 1995)

Michael Stanford, The Cyclopean Eye, The Courtly Game, Admissions Against Interest: Five Modern American Lawyer Poets, 30 Legal Studies Forum 9 (2006) [online text]

Research Resources

Espada Papers, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

Ray Gonzalez, Touching the Fire: Fifteen Poets of Today's Latino Renaissance (Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1998)