MARTA M. MIRANDA-STRAUB is a poet and storyteller who has spent her life working towards equity, inclusion, and creating systems change. Her activism has focused on advancing social and economic justice for marginalized communities. Marta is working on her forthcoming book, Cradled by Skeletons: A Life in Poems (forthcoming 2019), in which she explores themes of complex and multiple identities within the experiences of birth, childhood, family, exile, trauma, addiction, resilience, community, and 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 scapegoat of those seeking asylum in the U.S.

Until the age of twelve Marta was raised in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. In 1966 she immigrated to New Jersey. “As a refugee family from Cuba,” Marta said, “we were resettled by Catholic Charities in West New York, New Jersey, with a sponsor family in September 1966. We left our extended family, photo albums, toys, worldly belongings, language, culture, flag, and land on the island.” She now lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky, and 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 in Kentucky.

Marta is a Latina 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—such as professor, social researcher, author, psychotherapist, executive leader, fund raising 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 trainings 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. Cradled by Skeletons will be released in a bilingual edition (English and Spanish). Read one of Marta’s poems.