Martín Espada

Martín Espada is a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he was raised, and now lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Floaters (W.W. Norton, 2021); a finalist for the National Book Award, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016); The Trouble Ball (2011)l and Alabanza (2003). His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He notes one particular influence of his cultural and artistic identity: his father, Francisco Luis (Frank) Espada, a photographer, community organizer, and leader of the Puerto Rican community in New York during the 1960s.About being named a Letras Boricus Fellow, Espada says, “As a poet of the Puerto Rican diaspora, this fellowship means a great deal to me personally and poetically, more than words can say. This fellowship represents the embrace of my Boricua community—so often the beating heart of my poems. In a way, this fellowship brings me full circle: the chance to scatter my father’s ashes in his hometown of Utuado.”