The Trouble Ball by Martín Espada

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“[An] important work . . . inspiring its readers to greater human connection and to keep fighting the good fight.”—The Rumpus

In this new collection of poems, Martín Espada crosses the borderlands of epiphany and blasphemy: from a pilgrimage to the tomb of Frederick Douglass to an encounter with the swimming pool at a center of torture and execution in Chile, from the adolescent discovery of poet Omar Khayyám to the death of an "illegal" Mexican immigrant.

from "The Trouble Ball"

      On my father's island, there were hurricanes and tuberculosis, dissidents in jail

      and baseball. The loudspeakers boomed: Satchel Paige pitching for the Brujos

      of Guayama. From the Negro Leagues he brought the gifts of Baltasar the King;

      from a bench on the plaza he told the secrets of a thousand pitches: The Trouble Ball,

      The Triple Curve, The Bat Dodger, The Midnight Creeper, The Slow Gin Fizz,

      The Thoughtful Stuff. Pancho Coímbre hit rainmakers for the Leones of Ponce;

      Satchel sat the outfielders in the grass to play poker, windmilled three pitches

      to the plate, and Pancho spun around three times. He couldn't hit The Trouble Ball.

About Martín Espada

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Martín Espada's The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, teaches at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Published September 4, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 81 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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