Although a U.S. citizen born in Brooklyn, Espada has a larger loyalty, out of which he has forged a passionate, compelling, eminently readable poetry that makes him arguably the most important "minority" U.S. poet since Langston Hughes. His greater allegiance could be called pan-Hispanic, and its roots are in the dilapidated tenements of mid-twentieth-century New York and such heartbreaking stories as the basis of "Tato Hates the New York Yankees," about a Puerto Rican baseball phenom spurned by the pros in 1947. From the beginning, Espada has been compassionate but scrupulous to avoid arousing pity, for pity might blur the perception of injustice crucial to the poetry of advocacy he determined to practice. As he progressed, he took on the struggles of Mexicans, Chileans, Peruvians, and other Latin Americans against postcolonial tyranny at home and prejudice in the U.S., to which multitudes of them fled. He makes his leftist orientation apparent, but in his poetry he is far less an ideologue than a lyrical champion of the oppressed and dispossessed. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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A passionate, readable poetry that makes [Espada] arguably the most important 'minority' U.S. poet since Langston Hughes. -- Booklist
Espada's poems are not just clarion calls to the heart and conscience, but also wonderfully crafted gems. -- Julia Alvarez
Neruda is dead, but if Alabanza
is any clue, his ghost lives through a poet named Martín Espada. -- San Francisco Chronicle
To read this work is to be struck breathless, and surely, to come away changed. -- Barbara Kingsolver