We are thrilled that poet Richard Blanco will be a visiting guest speaker on campus this Thursday evening, September 26th.
Mr. Blanco served as the Presidential inaugural poet, an honorary participant in the official ceremony, when President Obama was sworn into office on January 21, 2013. He stands as the youngest, first Latino, and first openly gay person to have this honor, and he joins the ranks of such luminary inaugural poets as Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, and Elizabeth Alexander. A builder of both poems and cities, Blanco is also a professional civil engineer currently living in Bethel, Maine.
Richard Blanco’s acclaimed first book, City of a Hundred Fires, explores the yearnings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American and received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His second book, Directions to The Beach of the Dead, won the PEN American Beyond Margins Award for its continued exploration of the universal themes of place and homecoming. His third collection, Looking for The Gulf Motel, won the Patterson Poetry Prize and Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle.
More information about his work, appearances around the country, and additional honors can be found here: Richard Blanco. Or, watch Mr. Blanco reading the poem, “One Today,” at President Obama’s inauguration this past January: Inaugural Poem.
Mr. Blanco will be reading to our community at 5 p.m. in the Chelsea Morrison Theater, and this will be followed by two evening events. Students will enjoy a sit-down dinner as usual (a group of students will be having dinner with Mr. Blanco in the Barn), and then all are welcome to attend a dessert-book signing in Pulling House. Students will have the opportunity to purchase one of Mr. Blanco’s books of poetry and to meet him.
Students and faculty like are excited about this amazing opportunity!