Virtual: Martín Espada with Luke Salisbury, Floaters

Join Porter Square Books for a virtual reading from award-winning poet Martín Espada's latest collection Floaters!  The reading will be followed by a discussion with Luke Salisbury. This event is free and open to all, hosted on Crowdcast.

Register here to join the event on Crowdcast:

From the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize come masterfully crafted narratives of protest, grief and love.

Martín Espada is a poet who "stirs in us an undeniable social consciousness," says Richard Blanco. Floaters offers exuberant odes and defiant elegies, songs of protest and songs of love from one of the essential voices in American poetry.

Floaters takes its title from a term used by certain Border Patrol agents to describe migrants who drown trying to cross over. The title poem responds to the viral photograph of Óscar and Valeria, a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned in the Río Grande, and allegations posted in the "I’m 10-15" Border Patrol Facebook group that the photo was faked. Espada bears eloquent witness to confrontations with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings the praises of Central American adolescents kicking soccer balls over a barbed wire fence in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry. He also knows that times of hate call for poems of love—even in the voice of a cantankerous Galápagos tortoise.

The collection ranges from historical epic to achingly personal lyrics about growing up, the baseball that drops from the sky and smacks Espada in the eye as he contemplates a girl’s gently racist question.

Whether celebrating the visionaries—the fallen dreamers, rebels and poets—or condemning the outrageous governmental neglect of his father’s Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane María, Espada invokes ferocious, incandescent spirits.

Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator, including Vivas to Those Who Have Failed and Pulitzer finalist The Republic of Poetry. His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Born in Brooklyn, he now lives in western Massachusetts.

Luke Salisbury is an award winning author and Professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. His interests range from Shakespeare to baseball, with the latter including a book The Answer is Baseball, and time spent as both vice president and national secretary for the Society of Baseball Research (SABR). No Common War, published in 2019, is his latest work. Mr. Salisbury attended The Hun School, New College, and received an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He once taught third grade in the Bronx, and now lives with his wife Barbara in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Register here to join the event on Crowdcast:

Event date: 

Monday, January 25, 2021 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Virtual, via Crowdcast
Floaters: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393541038
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2021