Martín Espada is an activist and former tenant lawyer who spent years fighting for Latino rights. So when he sits down to write poems, it’s no surprise that he tackles the controversial issues. He writes about immigration reform, about dictators, men on Death Row, poverty, and 9/11 victims. NPR once refused to air a poem he wrote about a Death Row inmate. And he once got a bomb threat during a poetry reading. So how do you fight for the underprivileged with poetry? And what role does activism play in the neat, organized stanza? Martín Espada talks about his Puerto-Rican background, his love of Neruda's poetry, and his fight against injustice.
Martin Espada, poet and Prof of English, University of Massachusetts-Amherst