UW Today

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May 10, 2007

Espada lecture rescheduled

The Reed-Osheroff lecture featuring Latino poet Martin Espada, originally scheduled for May 10, has been rescheduled to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, in 239 Savery.


The lecture honors Abe Osheroff and the late Bob Reed, two Seattle-area veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).


Espada, who is friends with Osheroff, calls his talk, The Poetry of the Good Fight. As part of the talk, he’ll read The Carpenter Swam to Spain, a poem in Osheroff’s honor.


According to Espada, a torpedo sank the ship Osheroff took to Spain, so he wound up swimming the last two miles. Social activism makes one’s life a poem, said Espada. “Abe has done that. Abe’s life has been a great poem.”


Sometimes called the Pablo Neruda of United States poetry, Espada was born in Brooklyn, NY to a Puerto Rican family. He learned social justice early, as his father, Frank Espada, was an activist. The younger Espada writes about his heritage as well as experiences ranging from a job as a bouncer to life as a tenant lawyer.


Espada’s appearance is sponsored by Spanish and Portuguese Studies, the Department of English, the Office of Minority Affairs, the Department of American Ethnic Studies, Instituto Cervantes and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.


The event is free and open to the public.