Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He has received the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona and has been issued in a new edition by Curbstone/Northwestern University Press. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of four books. Her new collection of poems from Curbstone/Northwestern University Press is called Filthy Labors. Of this book, Sam Hamill says: “No one, I believe, has written with such delicate honesty and compassion about shelters for homeless (often abused) women…The range of her vision is exquisite, and the unity of the work is inspiring.” Other collections include The Voodoo Doll Parade (2011), Psalms of the Dining Room (2011), and Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing (2013). Her work has appeared in such journals as The Progressive, North American Review, New York Quarterly, and Rattle. Her awards include the Vilcek Prize for Poetry from the Bellevue Literary Review, the So to Speak Poetry Prize and the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor. She received her MFA from Antioch University, served as a Poet in the Schools in Paterson, New Jersey, and now teaches English at Baystate Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts.