Richard Blanco

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Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco and his family arrived in Miami as exiles from Cuba through Madrid, where he was born. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his five collections of poetry, including his latest, How to Love a Country. His poems have also appeared in The Best American Poetry and Great American Prose Poems. Blanco was elected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history. The youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role, he read his inaugural poem, “One Today,” on January 21, 2013. Blanco is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. A builder of cities as well as poems, he is also a professional civil engineer and lives in Bethel, Maine, and Miami, Florida. He currently serves as the Education Ambassador for the American Academy of Poets.