Martín Espada and Raquel Salas Rivera

Martín Espada and Raquel Salas Rivera

Introduced by John Murillo and Urayoán Noel. This event can be attended in-person or online.

Martín Espada’s latest book of poems, Floaters, won the 2021 National Book Award. “Espada has long established himself as one of our most prolific and important poets, his body of work a canon unto itself,” wrote John Murillo. “Along with his trademark blend of gravitas, humor, and raucous imagination, [in Floaters] we get an Espada more vulnerable, a voice more intimate than any we’ve heard from him before.

Raquel Salas Rivera’s new collection is antes que isla es volcán (before island is volcano). “To dream other worlds in the face of colonial apocalypse . . . This imagining is what the poems—the poem—that are before island is volcano generously and powerfully offer us,” wrote Daniel Borzutsky. “Since the tertiary, one of the most important books of our time, Raquel Salas Rivera has been documenting—with acuity, and clarity, and beauty—the colonial hole, creating life-giving books, in multiple languages, and channeling multiple universes, to gift us the words we need as we ward off the nations they send to kill us.”

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This reading is being co-presented with El projecto de la literatura puertorriqueña / the Puerto Rican Literature Project, an archive supported by the University of Houston’s USLDH and the Mellon Foundation, which documents the literary work of Puerto Rican poets on the archipelago and in the diaspora.