Richard Blanco

Memories Of An Inaugural Poet
8:50 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Richard Blanco: The Poem Not Taken

2013 Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco
Credit Richard_Blanco.com

Miami-raised poet Richard Blanco had planned to take his partner to President Barack Obama’s second inauguration to sit on the platform as he read the poem he composed for the event.

He could only have one guest. But his partner had another idea, Blanco says.

“He says, ‘It should really be your mom to go with with you. This is so much more about the American Dream story.'”

So Blanco picked up the phone to call his mother to ask her if she even wanted to go.

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The Cuban Kitchen
6:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Cuban Kitchen: A Mother's Cooking From Miami To Maine

Richard Blanco at home in Maine
Credit richard-blanco.com

Cuban cuisine has chewed its way into South Florida's culture. Many an abuela has shared family recipes for ropa vieja and bistec empanizado, through generations. WLRN wants a seat at your table to hear stories, memories or recipes from your kitchen.

  

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Arts
6:30 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Poet Richard Blanco Reads Tonight In Miami

Richard Blanco says this handshake gave him a lot of confidence on inauguration day.
Credit richard-blanco.com

When Richard Blanco got the call that he'd been chosen to write a poem for President Obama's second inauguration, at first he thought it was a prank. He still has no idea how he ended up on the President's radar.

"I would dream actually that the President has actually read my work and was so moved by it," says Blanco, laughing, "that he said, 'I want this guy to read a poem at the inaugural.'"

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Artists Collaborate
6:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Check It Out: What Happens When An Inaugural Poet And A South Florida Painter Make Art Together

Two maps of the world - one of how Europeans thought of the world before Columbus, the other after.
John Bailly

A painter who lives in Miami and teaches at Florida International University has collaborated with inaugural poet Richard Blanco to create paintings based on his poetry.

Their project, Place of Mind, will be exhibited in February in a New York gallery. The pieces were originally exhibited in 2007 at the main branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library.

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The Takeaway
9:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Richard Blanco Wrote His Poem For The Inauguration, Now Here's Yours

The Takeaway wanted your help authoring a people's poem.
Credit Ohmega1982 / freedigitalphotos.net

Richard Blanco wasn't the only poet to pen a line for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Last week, our partners at The Takeaway asked for your help writing a poem for the inauguration. 

Poet Kwame Dawes wrote the first line--"Say 'nation.' In the Wake of quarrels, say 'hope'"--and the audience tweeted the rest of the lines.

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John Bailly And Richard Blanco
7:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

SLIDESHOW: Painter John Bailly Makes Images With Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco

Cienfuegos: Bailly was inspired to paint this portrait of Blanco by the line 'There should be nothing here I don't remember'
John Bailly

When Richard Blanco read his inaugural poem, One Today, one of the friends cheering him from afar was South Florida painter John Bailly.

Bailly and Blanco met nearly 20 years ago and bonded over a shared interest in cultural identity. The conversations between friends led to Place of Mind, a collaboration of paintings and poems that has been on display in South Florida and is now on its way to New York.  

Bailly spoke to WLRN about culture, identity and working with Blanco to create the collection of images.

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Politics And Poetry
5:06 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Lived 'The Quintessential American Experience'

President Obama chose FIU graduate Richard Blanco as the 2013 Inaugural Poet.
Credit Photo by Michael Upright

Richard Blanco is home now, back in Miami after a six-year journey that launched the award-winning poet and FIU double-graduate into what was supposed to be the “real America.”

“The great prodigal return,” he calls it, the irony evident in his voice – not only about the places he’s been, but about the place he’s come back to. The journey has shaped much of Blanco’s recent poetry, and his evolving sense of identity as a writer, as the son of Cuban immigrants and as an American.

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One Today
1:01 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

AUDIO: Full Text Of Richard Blanco's Poem For The Inauguration

Richard Blanco's poem describes apples, 'arrayed like rainbows begging our praise.'
Credit rc! / Flickr

Richard Blanco's inaugural poem, One Today, may have addressed the whole nation, but the details were full of South Florida. 

A father's hands callused by cutting sugar cane, a mother who taught Blanco to speak Spanish--these are some of the personal details that worked their way into the poem.

Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles. He was born in Spain and came to Miami as a small child. His poetry draws on images of a childhood spent in a tight-knit South Florida Cuban community.

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Arts
11:32 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Miami Poet Richard Blanco Puts FIU In The Creative Writing Spotlight

Credit Richard-Blanco.com

Richard Blanco will likely be Florida International University's most talked-about graduate today.

The 44-year-old is the youngest, first openly gay and first Hispanic inaugural poet.

Blanco has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from FIU as well as a Masters of Fine Arts from FIU's creative writing program.

If it seems like Blanco came out of nowhere, author and Virginia Tech professor Ed Falco begs to differ.

"Well FIU, first of all," he said, "has one of the best poetry programs in the country."

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Inauguration Day
11:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

How South Florida Is Spending Inauguration Day, And What People Are Saying

Carol City High School Band at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts
Christine Di Mattei

As South Florida prepares for a day of dual celebration for Inauguration Day and MLK Day, we are rounding up what is going on in the community, and what people are talking about.  There are watch parties all over the place- but we have sent our reporter Chris Di Mattei to the Arsht Center to sit in on the watch party there.  Our StateImpact education reporter Sarah Gonzales just happens to be in Washington D.C. for the event, and we are going to be hearing from her, too.

Arts
10:00 am
Mon January 21, 2013

In D.C. and Delray, 'Poetry' Is The Word On The Street

Credit Palm Beach Poetry Festival

From the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Old School Square in Delray Beach, poetry class is in session.

Today, 44-year-old Richard Blanco, the Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants, becomes the fifth poet ever to take part in a President's inaugural ceremony.  Blanco is scheduled to read an original poem after President Obama is sworn in for his second term.

Meanwhile, poetry fans are converging upon Delray Beach for the 9th Annual Palm Beach County Poetry Festival, which runs through Saturday.

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Inaugural Poet
6:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Why Miami Poet Richard Blanco Embodies Obama’s Winning Coalition

Richard Blanco was selected to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet.
Credit Nico Tucci

Today, Miami poet Richard Blanco will recite the poem he has composed for President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

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Richard Blanco
12:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

VIDEO: Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Speaks To WLRN

When Richard Blanco takes the stage Monday at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, the poetry community of South Florida will be paying especially close attention.

Blanco was born to Cuban parents in Spain. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Miami when Blanco was a toddler. He trained to be a civil engineer but a class at Florida International University later launched his poetry career.

Blanco's poetry is full of images from a childhood in South Florida and a Cuban-American household. 

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