Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Martin Espada

Continuing my recap of the recent Dodge Poetry Festival, Martin Espada tells the story of visiting his in-laws house for Thanksgiving. The story is long and I won't do it justice here. Short version, he is not well accepted by the in-laws due to his heritage. He writes a poem about the experience, naturally. When he publishes his book, he includes the poem. He gives a copy of the book to his in-laws. Any problem with that? No, he says:
"The safest place in the world to hide a poem is within the covers of a book."
Martin was a new find for me. I liked the passion with which he read. There was an intensity to his work that created an electric atmosphere where ever he read at the Festival.

I was more selective in buying books in the Festival bookstore, but his new book was one I did bring home:
Alabanza: New and Selected Poems,
1982-2002
You can visit Martin's web site here.

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