Poems for Modern America: A Review of Floaters by Martín Espada

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Floaters: Poems by Martín Espada

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely astounding. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Opening with the full rage and grief of modern America, Espada gives heartbreaking and powerful voice to immigrants and the children of immigrants in the modern age–capturing the details of individual stories while painting a picture of America as it exists today. From this opening, the collection turns toward more personal topics, speaking of love and loss, memory and art. Full of lingering lines and images drawn in sharp detail, Espada’s art shines through every page. The collection closes with poems dedicated to many who are now gone, speaking their names and paying tribute to their dreams, their lives, and the marks they left on the world. It is a journey from the social and the historical, through the individual connections of vibrant lives, and back again.

Explosively political and deeply intimate, Floaters is a beautiful and powerful collection of poems that stretch across lives and history while also speaking directly to the time we live in today.

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