Each year, the Folger Poetry Board, supporters of the O.B Hardison Poetry series, selects a distinguished poet to share their favorite poems from other poets and to read from their own work.
Martín Espada follows in the steps of noted poets Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Octavio Paz, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Carol Ann Duffy, all former Folger Poetry Board Readers, a designation which began in 1991 with Mr. Heaney.
This reading will be followed by a moderated conversation where audience members can also ask their own questions.
Martín Espada is the author of more than a dozen collections of poetry and several books of essays, the translator of Puerto Rican poet Clemente Soto Vélez, and the editor of influential anthologies such as El Coro (1997) and Poetry Like Bread (1994). Some of Espada’s more recent books of poetry include A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Alabanza: New and Selected Poems, 1982–2002 (2003), The Republic of Poetry (2006), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Meaning of the Shovel (2014), and Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). His collection Alabanza won the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was also named an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year; its title poem, which addresses 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. The Republic of Poetry, which is concerned with the political power and efficacy of poetry, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.