Rhina P. Espaillat
Rhina P. Espaillat has published 11 acclaimed collections of poetry, written in both Spanish and English. She was born in the Dominican Republic, and is of mixed Afro-Dominican, Spanish, French, and Arawak descent. Her family, exiled after a great-uncle opposed the Trujillo dictatorship, settled in New York City. Espaillat began writing as a young girl. She grew up surrounded by relatives who recited poetry and played Spanish classical guitar, which she says “made me much more of an ear poet than an eye poet." Her poems—known for honesty and clarity, and the masterful use of rhyme and meter—find inspiration in the beauty of the everyday. Espaillat’s themes are wide-ranging and include pride in her mixed ancestry, female identity, and status as an immigrant to the United States. And After All, about the passage of time, is her most recent collection. Where Horizons Go won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 1998, and her work has received many international awards.