Her poetry collections include The Devil’s Workshop (2002), Breathing Between the Lines (1997), and Turning (1987). She is the author of the novella The Block Captain’s Daughter (2012), a recipient of the 2013 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and the novel Mother Tongue (1994), which won a Western States Book Award and is based on part on her 1988 indictment on charges of conspiring to smuggle Central American refugees into the United States. A reporter for Kansas City’s National Catholic Reporter, she was later acquitted on First Amendment grounds. Her essay collection Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (2005) won the International Latino Book Award. With Rosalee Montoya-Read, she co-authored Grandpa’s Magic Tortilla (2010, illustrated by Lisa May Casaus), which won New Mexico Book Awards’ Young Readers Book Award. Martinez lives in Albuquerque.