Acknowledged Legislator: Critical Essays on the Poetry of Martin Espada

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Acknowledged Legislator: Critical Essays on the Poetry of Martin Espada stands as the first-ever collection of essays on poet and activist Martin Espada. It is also, to date, the only published book-length, single-author study of Espada currently in existence. Relying on innovative, highly original contributions from thirteen Espada scholars, its principal aim is to argue for a long overdue critical awareness of and cultural appreciation for Espada and his body of writing. Acknowledged Legislator accomplishes this task in three fundamental ways: by providing readers with background information on the poet's life and work; offering an examination into the subject matter and dominant themes that are frequently contained in his writing; and finally, by advocating, in a variety of ways, for why we should be reading, discussing, and teaching the Espada canon. Divided into four distinct sections that modulate through several theoretical frames-from Espada's attention to resistance poetics and concerns for historical memory to his oppositional critique of neoliberalism and support for a class consciousness grounded in labor rights-Acknowledged Legislator offers a cohesive, forward-thinking interpretive statement of the poet's vision and proposes a critical (re)assessment for how we read Espada, now and in the future.