MARTA M. MIRANDA-STRAUB is a poet and storyteller who has spent her life working towards equity and inclusion and creating systems change. Her activism has focused on advancing social and economic justice for marginalized communities. In Cradled by Skeletons: A Life in Poems and Essays, she explores themes of complex and multiple identities within the experiences of birth, childhood, family, exile, trauma, addiction, resilience, community, discrimination and social justice work. It is Marta’s hope to expand readers’ capacity for love of the other, especially during these abhorrent political waves of hate, violence and scapegoating of those seeking asylum in the United States.
Until the age of twelve Marta was raised in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. In 1966 she immigrated to New Jersey with her family. As a refugee family from Cuba, they were resettled by Catholic Charities in September 1966 in West New York, New Jersey, with a sponsor family. They left their extended family, photo albums, toys, worldly belongings, language, culture, flag, and land on the island.
Marta now lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky, and she describes herself affectionately as a Cubalachian—a combination of Cuban and Appalachian. When she arrived in Kentucky and saw the beauty of the “old and worn mountains,” she “knew that [she] could be an American, a Cuban-American, as long as [she] could live and die in Kentucky.”
Marta is a queer Latinx woman who lives and works at the intersection of identities, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexualities—applying an intersectional feminist lens to all she does. She has over forty years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice, during which she has held multiple roles, including professor, social researcher, author, psychotherapist, executive leader, fundraising professional, community organizer, advocate/activist, executive coach, facilitator, trainer, and public speaker. She is the founder and principal of Catapult Now LLC, which provides organizational and leadership development, board development, executive coaching, coalition building, facilitation and training services to nonprofit and for profit organizations.
She was inducted into the Affrilachian Poets by Frank X Walker in 2009. Marta has read and performed poetry and stories nationally at universities, literary venues, conferences, marches, and rallies. Read one of Marta’s poems.