On the Opinion page of Worcester Magazine appears a poem in which two of my friends —both terrific poets—have had a hand. Juan Matos wrote “Boot on the Throat” in Spanish; Rhina Espaillat translated it into English. I only wish you could hear Juan read the original; no one delivers a poem with greater passion.
I’m happy for my friend Juan Matos! What a superb choice as poet laureate of Worcester, or of Anyplace-At-All! He’s not only an excellent poet —Rhina Espaillat, who should know, considers him one of the very best poets writing Spanish in the United States— but a dear, sweet man, with great reserves of dignity in him. To hear him read make me think of the famous Caedmon recordings of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
In this article printed in Worcester Magazine, he and Amina Mohammed talk about their reactions to being selected as Worcester’s poet laureate and youth poet laureate, respectively. I found what each of them had to say profoundly moving. Congratulations and every blessing to them both!