In the catharsis of a new presidency, and the exit of former President Donald Trump, we find ourselves at a crossroads. It’s a crossroads that poet Martín Espada says comes out of four years of dehumanization. It’s a moment, he says, in which we must build a foundation of empathy. Trump may be gone, but systemic racism, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and bigotry still remain.
Such themes are examined in Floaters, Espada’s new collection of poems, which looks at our culture and politics through a lens of humanity and love. From the political of anti-immigrant rhetoric, to the personal remembrance of poet Jack Agüeros, to the absurd love song of a Galápagos tortoise, Espada joins host Allen Ruff to read from his new collection and respond with hope to the world we must grapple with.
Espada will host a virtual reading hosted by Porter Square Books on Monday, January 25th at 7pm Eastern. Find more information here. He will also host a virtual book launch on Thursday, January 28th. Register here.
About the guest
Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, essayist, and translator. That list now includes Floaters (January 2021, W. W. Norton Company). Recent books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016) and The Trouble Ball (2011). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He’s a former tenant lawyer in Boston and professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He’s also a former “Madison guy,” with ties to WORT from the station’s time on Winnebago Street.