Martín Espada, a Latino poet, essayist, and lawyer, was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. His works mainly focus on the lives of working-class people and their struggles. He was introduced to politics and civil rights at a very young age. He studied law at Northeastern University worked as a lawyer for some years. While working as a tenant lawyer in a closely-knit Latino community, he came across many clients who were denied their rights.
Espada is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His best-known poem “Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100” addresses the incidents of the 9/11 tragedy. He is the first Latino poet to receive the prestigious Ruth Lily Poetry Prize in 2018.