Composite image of Martín Espada and Yara Liceaga-Rojas

Martín Espada and Yara Liceaga-Rojas

*CANCELLED* Conversation and Bilingual Poetry Reading
Featuring Martín Espada and Yara Liceaga-Rojas

4/9/2020 4:30–6 PM
Newhouse Center for the Humanities
Free and open to the public

About Martín Espada
Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latinx community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

About Yara Liceaga-Rojas
I am a queer Afro-Caribbean Puerto Rican mother, poet/writer, performer, cultural worker, and educator. My projects revolve around the visibility of marginalized subjects. I write and publish, perform at festivals, and coordinate projects that address origin, gender, race, and class. Coming from a United States colony, Puerto Rico, my main concern is to be visible since we as colonial subjects are made invisible. Self-determination has been stripped away from us. 

In projects, I gather multi-disciplinary artists - musicians, writers, performers, visual and audiovisual artists - and I include cisgender, trans, and non-binary folks, and/or BIPoC of various origins who are not usually given the space to perform their art. For example, my projects Acentos espesos/Thick Accents and Poetry Is Busy: Visible Caribe Series, portray the complexities of life for migrants who live in the United States. Making what's hidden visible is always a creative fuel for me. 

In 2019, I became a Brother Thomas Fellow and published Hacernos el adiós with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; I have five poetry books published in previous years. I've secured funding for my projects from Cambridge Arts, Kindle Project LLC, New England Foundation for the Arts' Creative City, The Boston Foundation's Live Arts Boston and the Boston Center for the Arts. El despojo: ¿Alguien ha/Has Anyone?, my latest project, deals with the experience of Hurricane María in the Puerto Rican Diaspora as a way of healing environmental disaster trauma.

Generously supported by:

the LatinX Advisor Office and MassPoetry

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