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The Trouble Ball: Poems 1st Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393343564
ISBN-10: 9780393343564
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Espada’s avuncular charm—his warm, earnest, sly voice—finds intimacy in the lives of public figures and emblematic weight in his own stories . . . playful, earthy, both welcoming and ‘roaring’ its vision of inclusion and fairness. . . . [T]he book enacts this ethos beautifully.” — Antioch Review

About the Author

Martín Espada has received a Shelley Memorial Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, among other honors. A professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Espada lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393343564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393343564
  • ASIN: 0393343561
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had not heard of Martín Espada until Saturday, when I noticed THE TROUBLE BALL on the bookstore shelf. The front cover featured the picture of a young baseball pitcher in his wind-up, with one leg raised high à la Juan Marichal. I opened the book to the first poem, "The Trouble Ball". Its first two lines are as follows: "In 1941, my father saw his first big league ballgame at Ebbets Field / in Brooklyn: the Dodgers and the Cardinals. My father took his father's hand." Later in the poem Satchel Paige and Mickey Owen make appearances. Baseball was the hook. But as I read through the poem, I realized that at bottom it was not about baseball; it was more memoir about growing up Puerto Rican in New York City and protest against racial and ethnic prejudice. But the hook was set.

THE TROUBLE BALL contains twenty-four poems by Martín Espada (born in 1957, in Brooklyn). Many of them are to varying degrees autobiographical, and most of them take up the cause of the oppressed and disadvantaged - socially, economically, and politically. According to the biographical note at the end of the volume, Espada has been called "the Latino poet of his generation", and, based on THE TROUBLE BALL, he surely is a compelling voice on behalf of Latinos.

The purist (reactionary?) in me objects to many of these pieces being called "poetry". To me, they are carefully crafted prose pieces broken up into lines of near equal length and printed without right-hand justification. Whether poetry or not, however, they are literature and most are effective. Five of them are special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
He's at the top of my list for poets and Latin American poets. I've heard him speak and he is very passionate about what he does. Whether the poem is funny, serious, sad, political, upbeat - i find a way to connect with each word he writes. one of my favorite reads by far, read the book about 7 times already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Barabe on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martin Espada appeared on Bill Moyers and read a poem. I recommend the book to anyone who watches Bill Moyers, PBS, and anyone who is interested in Latinos in the U.S.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Carpenter on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read bought for someone else who likes poetry but I read first like this poet alot His style is different almost more like a conversation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zvi A. Sesling on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first poem is absolutely one of the best baseball poems of all time.
The rest of the book is great read and heartily recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pat McCutcheon on March 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is good to see the latest work of Espada. I'll never get over "Alabanza", but there are strong new poems here.
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