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. Martín Espada talks about his Puerto-Rican background, his love of Neruda's poetry, and his fight against injustice.
Joshua Kryah is a contemporary poet in Las Vegas. But his poems "would be just as at home in the mouth of a monk in medieval France, a Brazilian missionary, the courtier to his beloved," noted one editor.
Poet, teacher and civil rights activist Nikki Giovanni joins us to talk about a lifetime of letters and activism. Her poems range from the black power movement to rapper Tupac Shakur to President Obama.
Ishmael Reed is one of the most prolific African-American poets and essayists to date, known for stirring controversy when it comes to politics and black culture. He says he "holds up the mirror to hypocrisy.
"Tomorrow begins with shrapnel and blood...." That's the line Brian Turner wrote - about death he saw firsthand.
Brian Turner was a soldier in Iraq when he started writing poetry. He described the rush of bullets, the desert nights in Iraq, and what it's like to see a comrade fall in battle. His first book of poetry, Here, Bullet, skyrocketed him into the limelight - at the same time, he struggled to adjust with his return to America. Brian Turner reflects on the painful beauty of Iraq, and how one finds grace in a time of war. Join us for an in-depth look at the battleground through a soldier-poet's eyes.