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To me, “observation” means paying close attention and bearing witness, which is what writers should do. Governments often conduct surveillance of observers; in certain countries, surveillance leads to the murder of the observer, as in México, with the killing of journalist Rubén Espinosa, among many others. On Saturday, February 6, 2016, at pm Martín Espada will present his lecture, “I’ve Known Rivers: Speaking of the Unspoken Places in Poetry,” using the work of Claribel Alegría, Sterling Brown, Roque Dalton, Carolyn Forché, Nazim Hikmet, Langston Hughes, Etheridge Knight, Pablo Neruda, Carl Sandburg, and Gary Soto.Visit Cave Canem’s full calendar here., winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, forthcoming from Northwestern University Press.
That depends on the definition of “daring.” I’m considered a political poet—a designation I accept heartily—but a poem about my father’s death, like “Haunt Me,” where I invite raw grief to inhabit me, feels very vulnerable and, therefore, more daring. In 1982, I heard Ernesto Cardenal say in an interview that the first responsibility of the writer was “to write well.” Keep in mind that this was the great poet-priest of revolutionary Nicaragua, the Minister of Culture at the time.
I found a writers’ retreat in the Northeast Kingdom, in a small town called Craftsbury, Vermont, where I wrote “El Moriviví,” the poem I read at my father’s memorial, and other poems about him that form the heart of my next book, Have you ever been arrested? I was working as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman at the time, which is a suspicious activity, I suppose. The late Uruguayan journalist and historian Eduardo Galeano did likewise, saying: “I write for those who cannot read me: the downtrodden, the ones who have been waiting on line for centuries to get into history, who cannot read a book or afford to buy one.” This obsession was also inherited: Frank Espada, my father, was obsessed with justice as a community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer.
I remember that one of the officers was wearing sunglasses in the rain. This “mad love,” as I call it in one of my poems about him, produced the Puerto Rican Diaspora Documentary Project, and a book of photographs called And me.
Huff Post Live vide host Marc Lamont Hill is no stranger to controversy, but Twitter still erupted Wednesday when he blasted out admiring messages to Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Pennsylvania convict who murdered a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 in cold blood.
Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner died in 1981 when Mumia Abu-Jamal fired five bullets at him from a .38 caliber revolver that police found next to him.