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David Tomas Martinez, poet

David Tomas MartinezTuesday, May 1
Craft talk — 4:15 p.m. Standish Room, Science Library
Presentation/Q&A — 7:00 p.m. Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, uptown campus
Free and open to the public

David Tomas Martinez, prize-winning poet, is a former San Diego gang member and teenage father whose work addresses themes of street life, poverty, masculinity, drugs, and violence in the barrio, and the redemptive potential of art, poetry, and self-knowledge.

Major poet Tony Hoagland calls Martinez, “one of the most exciting and visceral poets of his generation.” Currently a professor of creative writing at Columbia University, Martinez is the author of the new poetry collection, Post Traumatic Hood Disorder (2018).

The New York Times' New & Noteworthy section praised the work: "In his second collection, Martinez has fun with the high-low mash-up that characterizes so much poetry today — one poem here is called 'Footnoting Biggie Lyrics Like "Why Christmas Missed Us’" — but he also includes tender love poems and searching personal reminiscences."

Post Traumatic Hood DisorderHis previous collection was Hustle (2014), which BuzzFeed named one of “The 14 Must-Read Works of Chicano Literature,” received the New England Book Festival's prize in poetry, the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and $10,000 as honorable mention from the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral Prize.

Diego Báez, reviewer for Booklist, wrote; "Martinez creates a hybrid universe in which T. S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson drink malt liquor. From the tattoos of gangbanging brothers to the spiked fruit of canyon cacti, Martinez revels in the extraordinary contradictions that arise when poetry arrives stomping, chanting, and slinging urban grit against the polished facade of the ivory tower."

Martinez's work has been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Tin House, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.

UAlbany students will join Martinez on stage in the evening to perform their own spoken word poetry.

Cosponsored by the Writing Center of the UAlbany English Department and the student performance troupe, Phenomenal Voices.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.