Poet Richard Blanco to speak about his journey to the inauguration

MIDDLEBURY — Presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco will discuss identity and belonging in a talk at Middlebury College’s Mead Chapel on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. His talk, “Becoming American: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public. The talk is presented with Middlebury College.
Blanco read at President Obama’s second inauguration, the first Latino, immigrant and gay writer to have such an honor. In his talk, Blanco will examine cultural identity and the essence of place and belonging.
Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history. Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his three collections of poetry: “City of a Hundred Fires,” “Directions to the Beach of the Dead,” and “Looking for the Gulf Motel.” His awards include: the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Thom Gunn Award.
He has been featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” and National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air.” He holds a BS in civil engineering and an MFA in creative writing, and currently lives in Bethel, Maine. A memoir of his childhood in Miami, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos,” was published in September 2014 by Ecco/Harper Collins.

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