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This is the year:
eaglets take
their final flight
to the heavens
...for Life.

HAIKU POEM
ROSALIENE BACCHUS

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roofdeck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges,
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border's undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;
this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;
this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;
this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;
this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;
if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.



From
Alabanza: New & Selected Poems (1982-2002),
W.W. Norton & Company Inc., New York, USA, 2003.
SOURCE: OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF POET

Imagine the Angels of Bread
Martín Espada
THIS IS THE
YEAR

With these new and selected poems, you can grasp how
powerful a poet Espada is—his range, his compassion, his
astonishing images, his sense of history, his knowledge of the
lives on the underbelly of cities, his bright anger, his
tenderness, his humor.
~ MARGE PIERCY ON ESPADA'S COLLECTION, ALABANZA: NEW AND
SELECTED POEMS 1982-2002, PUBLISHED IN USA 2003.

And we have no way of knowing this as poets when we put
our words into the air. And paradoxically, even the most
political poem is an act of faith. Because you have no way of
quantifying its impact on the world. But the fact is we write
these poems and put them into the environment, into the
atmosphere and we have no idea where they're going to
land. We have no idea who's going to breathe them in. We
have no idea what affect it's gonna have on an individual life
unless that person materializes and says, "Poetry saved my
life."
~ MARTÍN ESPADA, INTERVIEW WITH BILL MOYERS, JULY 20, 2007
THE HAMILTON
MIXTAPE
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
HIP-HOP MUSICIAN
ALEXANDER HAMILTON
LYRICS
Born in Brooklyn, New
York, in 1957, to a
politically engaged
Puerto Rican family,
Martín Espada is a
poet, essayist,
translator, editor, and
attorney.

After studying history
at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison,
he earned his law
degree from
Northeastern University.

For many years, he was
a tenant lawyer and
legal advocate. Today,
he teaches poetry and
English at the University
of Massachusetts,
Amherst.

Growing up in a tough,
racially mixed
neighborhood in
Brooklyn, Espada
began writing poetry at
an early age. He
dedicated much of his
career to the pursuit of
social justice, including
fighting for Latino
rights and reclaiming
the historical record.

Through his poetry,
Espada speaks for the
and racially
marginalized
individuals who have
no voice.

BOOKS OF POETRY
PUBLISHED:
~
The Immigrant
Iceboy's Bolero
(1982)
~
Trumpets from the
Island of Their Eviction

(1987)
~
Rebellion is the Circle
of a Lover's Hands

(1990)
~
City of Coughing and
Dead Radiators
(1993)
~
Imagine the Angels
of Bread
(1996)
~
A Mayan Astronomer
in Hell's Kitchen
(2000)
~
Alabanza: New &
Selected Poems,  
1982-2002
(2003)
~
The Republic of
Poetry
(2006)
~
Crucifixion in the
Plaza de Armas
(2008)
~
The Trouble Ball
(2011)
~
The Meaning of the
Shovel
(2014)
~
Vivas to Those Who
Have Failed
(2016)

SOME OF HIS AWARDS
RECEIVED:
~ PEN/Revson Award
(1990)
~ Paterson Poetry
Prize (1990)
~ Paterson Award for
Sustained Literary
Achievement (2003)
~ Finalist for the 2007
Pulitzer Prize
AMERICAN POET
WATCH & LISTEN
Poet Martín Espada
Reflects on
Struggles Past &
Present in
Vivas to Those Who
Have Failed

INTERVIEW WITH
AMY GOODMAN &
JUAN GONZÁLEZ
DEMOCRACY NOW!
JANUARY 22, 2016

DURATION: 14:35 MINUTES
American Poet Martin Espada
MARTÍN ESPADA ON
THE POWER BEHIND
POETRY

INTERVIEW WITH
BILL MOYERS
MOYERS & COMPANY
FEBRUARY 15, 2013

DURATION: 14:17 MINUTES
Youth sue US government over climate inaction - Oregon/USA - April 2016

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