Available Titles



Now the Dead
Will Dance the Mambo

By Martín Espada

The Poems of America's Foremost Latino Poet
on Audio CD

"Extremely Powerful...Highly Recommended."
Library Journal (starred review)

Martín Espada has been called ‘the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.’ Over the course of seven award winning collections, Espada has attracted an enormous cadre of fans who applaud his condemnation of injustice across the Americas, his poetic sensibility, his sharp humor, and his ear for the interplay of English and Spanish. The publication of ALABANZA: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton) was a landmark event in the career of this beloved poet and an American Library Association Notable Book of 2004. Although his commanding reading style often drives audiences to standing ovations, Now the Dead Will Dance the Mambo is Espada’s first-ever audio CD, featuring over one hour and twenty minutes of the best poems of his twenty-year career. The resulting collection is a long-awaited addition to the oeuvre of one of America’s most important poets and a natural accompaniment to his award winning selected poems.

“Martín Espada's remarkable new CD is a brilliant example of just how skillful and moving a spoken-word recording can be. Espada reads his own work with the passion and authority of a man who has witnessed great suffering as well as miracles … Throughout the 80-minute recording, Espada remains in complete control of each syllable and line, celebrating our common humanity in gorgeous, poignant verse. His masterful blend of nostalgia, rhythm, social commentary, vernacular speech, and soaring imagination make Now the Dead Will Dance the Mambo a great listen.”

Rain Taxi Review of Books

"Espada reads 39 of his best poems in his first-ever audio CD that spans his 20-year career. He reads with fire, humor, and irony short poems that describe rednecks, roach-infested apartments, drunks, law school, Guatemalan immigrants, sick children, prisoners from the Caribbean amazed by snow, Vietnam veterans, unscrupulous landlords, his father, Pablo Neruda, the NY Yankees, his newborn son, the World Trade Center bombing, and much more. The works are timely, full of humor and anger, accessible to high school students who can identify with the injustice done to minorities and the strength of common people of every race. The liner notes provide a sentence or two about each poem. Some of the poems were performed before live audiences. Espada's most recent collection was a 2004 ALA Notable Book."

—Kliatt, (starred Review)

"Martin Espada believes that the pursuit of social justice can and must be joined to the quest for art. These ideals are for him inseparable. He is a Latino poet who takes a cue from Whitman —  "Vivas to those who have failed!" —  and dreams of an inclusive democracy. He stands up for what Whitman calls "the rights of them the others are down upon" and writes a fiery, impure, earth-tinged, human-centered poetry.”

— Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post Book World

"Neruda is dead, but…his ghost lives through a poet named Martin Espada.”

The San Francisco Chronicle

"Espada has forged a passionate, compelling, eminently readable poetry that makes him arguably the most important "minority" U.S. poet since Langston Hughes.”


"Martin Espada wields his poetry like a flint, striking sparks, cutting to the bone. To read his work is to be struck breathless, and, surely, to come away changed."

—Barbara Kingsolver

"[He's] one of a handful of American poets who are forging a new American language, one that tells the unwritten history of the continent, speaks truth to power, and sings songs of selves we can no longer silence. His ambition and his achievement remind us of Whitman, where it all begins."

—Russell Banks

Martin Espada Responds to the Unfair Labor Practices of Coca Cola

See Which of your Favorite Poems are on the CD and Read Martín Espada's Powerful Introductions

See if Martín is Performing in a Town Near You

Martin Espada2.JPG (9410 bytes)
Martin Espada is the recipient of an American Book Award for Imagine the Angels of Bread, also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other honors include the PEN/Revson  Fellowship and the Paterson Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, The Nation and The Best American Poetry. A professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Espada averages forty performances a year across the country. Find out more at martínespada.net.

LENGTH: 1 Hour and Twenty Minutes on 1 Compact Disc
TRIM SIZE: 5.5 x 6.125
ISBN: 0-9728984-3-3
PRICE: $15.95

Back to Poetry Titles

© Leapfrog Press 2009 | All rights reserved