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Program Information
Bruderhof Radio
The Poetry of Martin Espada
Regular Show
Martin Espada
 Andrew Zimmerman  Contact Contributor
June 18, 2000, 12:05 p.m.
Poetry reading and interview with renowned Latino poet Martin Espada.
Producer: Andrew Zimmerman
Uploaded by: Andrew Zimmerman
Martin Espada, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, has been engulfed with accolades over the past decade: his six volumes of poetry have won numerous awards, including an American Book Award in 1996, and he has been called "the Latino poet of his generation." The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, and The Nation have all published his work. And yet, when you look beyond the hyperbole, you find a very down-to-earth poet - one who writes primarily about factory workers, illegal immigrants, poverty stricken tenants, and death row inmates. What is it, then, that endears the gritty writing of the Brooklyn-born Espada to the highbrow literary world? Perhaps it is because, as the PEN/Revson Foundation said in awarding him a prize in 1994, "his art gives dignity to the insulted and injured of the earth." Or perhaps it is the way Espada, who has held jobs ranging from bouncer to tenant lawyer, combines his working class upbringing with his Puerto Rican heritage, infusing his poetry with rich social commentary, biting political satire, and a remarkable sense of history. Whatever it is, Espada's writing remains admired both critically and popularly, while still challenging our societal prejudices of race, class, and ethnicity. In this program Martin Espada reads six of his poems and speaks about the issues that concern him most, such as discrimination against Latinos, the United States' attitude towards Puerto Rico, and how poetry and imagination must play an essential role in the struggle for justice and equality.

Bruderhof Radio is a semi-monthly production of the Bruderhof Communities, www.bruderhof.org. Bruderhof Radio is provided free of charge to all public, progressive, and community radio stations. For more info, see our website at www.freespeech.org/bruderhof or contact the producers at (800) 778-8461ext 239 or redzim@bruderhof.com

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