Dubbed by some as “the Pablo Neruda of North America,” poet Martín Espada will be honored in Chicago next week as the 2018 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for his outstanding lifetime literary achievement. Espada, with deep ties to Madison, is the first Latino poet to win this award since its inception in 1986. Joining host Allen Ruff on this Thursday edition of A Public Affair is his friend and ours, Matt Rothschild.
Espada is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has also taught at the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine, Holy Cross College, Emerson College, Wheelock College, Tufts University, and Suffolk University Law School. His most recent title is Vivas to Those Who Have Failed, a cycle of sonnets about the Paterson Silk Strike. He has received a plethora of awards and honors for his work.