Martín Espada

Puerto Rican poet

Martín Espada (born 7 August 1957) is a Latino poet, and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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QuotesEdit

  • I used to sit on the stairs outside the courtroom and scratch out poems on legal pads while I was waiting for our cases to be called. There were juvenile hearings prior to the housing cases, and of course given their right to privacy we were not allowed inside the courtroom while that was going on. Everyone was in the hallway or on the stairs. I sat there. I didn’t have an office there, and I wrote poems. It was not as crazy as it might sound because whether I was working or am working as a lawyer or a poet, I am an advocate…
  • My diction, my choice of words, is as precise as I can make it. The images that I use, the evocation of the senses, again, relies upon a certain exactitude. You can see how what I did with language as a poet would bleed into what I did as a lawyer, vice-versa…
  • Everybody takes his or her reality for granted. Everybody takes for granted the reality we see, we hear. That’s true for life as well as poetry. We grow up in certain circumstances, in a certain environment, and we understand that this is the way the world works. Sometimes we have to unlearn that truth, learn that there is a different or broader reality. I’m always open to that, and I’m certainly transformed any number of times during my life. And then I regress. We all do it…
  • A Puerto Rican writer from New York is doubly dislocated: first, there is dislocation from Puerto Rico; secondly, there is Puerto Rico’s dislocation from itself. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. It may be a truism that you can’t go home again, but it’s especially true when home is an occupied territory. A Puerto Rican writer from New York, like myself, is twice alienated. I never forget that in this country I belong to a marginalized, silenced, even despised community; yet, in Puerto Rico, as a “Nuyorican” poet, I am marginalized again, for reasons related and unrelated to the island’s colonial status…

External linksEdit

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