Poet Martín Espada Featured Speaker at Ethnic Voices Poetry Series Event

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Oct. 8, 2013 — Poet and author Martín Espada will be the featured speaker in the next installment of Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series on Tuesday, Oct. 22, starting at 6:30 p.m. Espada’s reading and discussion will be held at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. A reception will precede the event at 6 p.m.

Espada, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., has published more than 15 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems, The Trouble Ball, is the recipient of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award and an International Latino Book Award. In addition, Espada earned the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his collection, Republic of Poetry. Among the many awards received for his works, Espada earned the Robert Creely Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., associate professor of English, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Honors Academy at Park, said that Espada was recommended by a previous poet who described him as “an amazing reader and one of the most important poets writing today.”

The purpose of Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, which started in 2007, is to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own. Because all literature focuses on the human condition, a sharing of that literature promotes a sharing of ideas regarding the challenges, disappointments and celebrations of all people. In addition, literature supports the written and verbal expression of emotions that those activities promote. The EVPS is funded in part by a Missouri Arts Council grant, a state agency and division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

For more information about Espada’s works and accomplishments, visit www.martinespada.net. For more information about the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, visit www.park.edu/ethnic-voices-poetry-series/ or contact Brackett at virginia.brackett@park.edu or (816) 584-6818.