LatinaLista — Martin Espada has been described as the “Pablo Neruda of North American authors” and the “Latino poet of his generation.” However he is described, it is clear that this Puerto Rican, Brooklyn-born poet and essayist is an important Latino voice when it comes to the written word.
Espada has published 13 books of poetry over his writing career and has won numerous awards for his works. In addition to his publishing success, he’s a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches creative writing and the work of Pablo Neruda.
In fact, Espada enjoys sharing his craft with up-and-coming poets. In his book “Republic of Poetry,” Espada writes:
Advice to Young Poets
to be a unicorn
by sticking a plunger on your head
Obviously, Espada tells it like it is and illustrates that poetry can be fun, as well as inspirational. It’s these qualities that Espada brings to poetry students that organizers of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival thought so important they invited him to teach a workshop at their fifth annual event.
Yet, in a special email from event organizers to Latina Lista, the bad economy is also impacting this small non-profit dedicated to spreading the art of poetry.
Our festival has been impacted by the world financial crisis and as we are a small non-profit about to celebrate our fifth year, we find that we have not yet filled our workshops and so there are a few seats left for poets who would like to work with some of the most engaging and laurelled poets at work in the U.S. today …Would you be willing to spread the word that there’s an opportunity for a qualified poet to work with Dr. Espada and some of the other amazing poets who will be teaching at the festival. There are also auditor seats available.
For anyone who longs to write, you know writing is not just a hobby or a job but a passion. Poetry exemplifies that passion probably more so than any other genre. But passion needs discipline and who better to learn that from than not only a master but one of the premier poets of our time?
The Palm Beach Poetry Festival runs from January 19-24. A perfect time to be in Florida if your winters entail battling snow and sleet, and a perfect opportunity to take advantage of being in the presence of a poet who undoubtedly is part of the emerging history of U.S. Latino literature.