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Prior praise for Martín Espada: "Political poetry at its finest…with his soaring lyrics, Espada broadens our appreciation not only of poetry but of resistance itself." ---The Progressive  "(Espada) writes beautiful poems about terrible realities." ---San Francisco Chronicle A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering to Prior praise for Martín Espada: "Political poetry at its finest…with his soaring lyrics, Espada broadens our appreciation not only of poetry but of resistance itself." ---The Progressive  "(Espada) writes beautiful poems about terrible realities." ---San Francisco Chronicle A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation. This collection of essays on poetry and politics comes from the man the New York Times predicted would become "the Latino poet of his generation" and whom Sandra Cisneros called "the Pablo Neruda of North American authors." Martín Espada defends what Walt Whitman called, "the rights of them the others are down upon." He invokes the spirit of poet-advocates such as Whitman and Edgar Lee Masters to explore his own history as a poet and tenant lawyer in Boston's Latino community. He celebrates the poets of Puerto Rico, imprisoned for espousing the cause of independence, and the poets of the Bronx, writing bilingual poems in the voices of the dead. Espada writes of forgotten places and reminds us of the poet's responsibility to remember, as Pablo Neruda remembers the anonymous builders of Machu Picchu or Sterling Brown remembers the slave uprising of Nat Turner. He argues that poets should embrace the role of Shelley's "unacknowledged legislator" in their work as writers and in their lives as citizens. He challenges the conventional wisdom that poetry and politics are mutually exclusive, and rejects the poetics of self-marginalization, in keeping with Adrian Mitchell's dictum that, "most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people." Martín Espada has published seventeen books as a poet, editor, and translator. The Republic of Poetry, a collection of poems, received a Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Imagine the Angels of Bread won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. Espada is a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


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Prior praise for Martín Espada: "Political poetry at its finest…with his soaring lyrics, Espada broadens our appreciation not only of poetry but of resistance itself." ---The Progressive  "(Espada) writes beautiful poems about terrible realities." ---San Francisco Chronicle A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering to Prior praise for Martín Espada: "Political poetry at its finest…with his soaring lyrics, Espada broadens our appreciation not only of poetry but of resistance itself." ---The Progressive  "(Espada) writes beautiful poems about terrible realities." ---San Francisco Chronicle A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation. This collection of essays on poetry and politics comes from the man the New York Times predicted would become "the Latino poet of his generation" and whom Sandra Cisneros called "the Pablo Neruda of North American authors." Martín Espada defends what Walt Whitman called, "the rights of them the others are down upon." He invokes the spirit of poet-advocates such as Whitman and Edgar Lee Masters to explore his own history as a poet and tenant lawyer in Boston's Latino community. He celebrates the poets of Puerto Rico, imprisoned for espousing the cause of independence, and the poets of the Bronx, writing bilingual poems in the voices of the dead. Espada writes of forgotten places and reminds us of the poet's responsibility to remember, as Pablo Neruda remembers the anonymous builders of Machu Picchu or Sterling Brown remembers the slave uprising of Nat Turner. He argues that poets should embrace the role of Shelley's "unacknowledged legislator" in their work as writers and in their lives as citizens. He challenges the conventional wisdom that poetry and politics are mutually exclusive, and rejects the poetics of self-marginalization, in keeping with Adrian Mitchell's dictum that, "most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people." Martín Espada has published seventeen books as a poet, editor, and translator. The Republic of Poetry, a collection of poems, received a Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Imagine the Angels of Bread won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. Espada is a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

32 review for The Lover of a Subversive Is Also a Subversive: Essays and Commentaries

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Espada as always shines in his egalitarian, democratic, engaged understanding of poetry's political and social responsibilities. This collection of reflective essays mixes poetry, criticism, history and anecdote to sketch a comprehensive worldview in which poets respond to the silencing of their own voices by speaking for others, where poets are advocates and historians writing the collective memory those in power would sooner elide. There are startling facts presented, and anti-war poems so wre Espada as always shines in his egalitarian, democratic, engaged understanding of poetry's political and social responsibilities. This collection of reflective essays mixes poetry, criticism, history and anecdote to sketch a comprehensive worldview in which poets respond to the silencing of their own voices by speaking for others, where poets are advocates and historians writing the collective memory those in power would sooner elide. There are startling facts presented, and anti-war poems so wrenching that I found myself crying in a cafe to the confusion of those around me. The compelling argument that politics always has and continues to occupy a necessary place at the heart of poetry is made especially in the essay "A Rebuttal" in which the sanitized history of poetry in the 20th century is exploded as the result of self-censorship by the collective academic memory in response to the fear of the McCarthy era inquisitions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    An inspiring collection that examines the effect of political poetry in a variety of real-life examples. From poetry classrooms in the Bronx to political rallies in Puerto Rio, Espada finds and breaks down the voices of dissidence to unearth their poetic centers. The common string through Espada's essays is his belief that poetry can change our system to make this American life better not just for poets but all residents in the US and the world. An inspiring collection that examines the effect of political poetry in a variety of real-life examples. From poetry classrooms in the Bronx to political rallies in Puerto Rio, Espada finds and breaks down the voices of dissidence to unearth their poetic centers. The common string through Espada's essays is his belief that poetry can change our system to make this American life better not just for poets but all residents in the US and the world.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This collection of essays by the poet is less autobiographical than it is a look at his influences and his intellectual reflections on poetry and politics. His interview about Whitman was a particular highlight. This is a very strong collection that raises important questions about politics and poetry and life. I’m very glad I read it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ann Michael

  5. 5 out of 5

    Olga Tomchin

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zacarias Rivera, Jr.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  9. 4 out of 5

    Liam

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jen Kanke

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nikolai Garcia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yunnie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ching-In

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tara Betts

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wizzard

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sweetgrass

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jenkins

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sabina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aurora Morales

  29. 5 out of 5

    tia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Terry Everett

  31. 5 out of 5

    kom_pot

  32. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

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