The Trouble Ball

The Trouble Ball : Poems

4.43 (92 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 15-18 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


In this new collection of poems, Martin 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 Khayyam 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 Coimbre 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.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 157 x 211 x 8mm | 114g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0393343561
  • 9780393343564
  • 2,622,819

Review quote

"Espada's avuncular charm-his warm, earnest, sly voice-finds intimacy in the lives of public figures and emblematic weight in his own stories ... playful, earthy, both welcoming and 'roaring' its vision of inclusion and fairness... [T]he book enacts this ethos beautifully."
show more

About Martin Espada

Martin Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator, including Vivas to Those Who Have Failed and Pulitzer finalist The Republic of Poetry. His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Born in Brooklyn, he now lives in western Massachusetts.
show more

Rating details

92 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 52% (48)
4 40% (37)
3 7% (6)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X