Thursday, September 06, 2007


Martín Espada Reading at Busboys Thurs Sept 20

Scroll down for a poem!

DC Poets Against the War and Busboys & Poets Presents:
Poet-Essayist-Activist Martín Espada

Thursday, September 20, 6:30 pm
Busboys & Poets
Corner of 14th & V Streets, NW
Washington, DC

Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.
Sandra Cisneros says: “Martín Espada is the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.” And The Nation Magazine calls him, "The political poet of his generation." Not to be missed!

Martín Espada has published a dozen books in all as a poet, essayist, editor and translator. His eighth collection of poems, The Republic of Poetry, was published by Norton in October, 2006. His last book, Alabanza: New and Selected Poems, 1982-2002 (Norton, 2003), received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was named an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year.
An earlier collection, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Robert Creeley Award, the Antonia Pantoja Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and two NEA Fellowships. Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches creative writing and the work of Pablo Neruda.

Espada will also be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in DC in March, 2008 -
Cosponsored by DC Poets Against the War and Busboys and Poets. For more information: 202-387-POET or
Made possible in part by a grant from Poets & Writers.

The Republic of Poetry

For Chile
In the republic of poetry,
a train full of poets
rolls south in the rain
as plum trees rock
and horses kick the air,
and village bands
parade down the aisle
with trumpets, with bowler hats,
followed by the president
of the republic,
shaking every hand.

In the republic of poetry,
monks print verses about the night
on boxes of monastery chocolate,
kitchens in restaurants
use odes for recipes
from eel to artichoke,
and poets eat for free.
In the republic of poetry,
poets read to the baboons
at the zoo, and all the primates,
poets and baboons alike, scream for joy.
In the republic of poetry,
poets rent a helicopter
to bombard the national palace
with poems on bookmarks,
and everyone in the courtyard
rushes to grab a poem
fluttering from the sky,
blinded by weeping.
In the republic of poetry,
the guard at the airport
will not allow you to leave the country
until you declaim a poem for her
and she says Ah! Beautiful.

from The Republic of Poetry

Read more poems here:

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