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Richard Blanco

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Richard Blanco (born 1968) is an American poet.[1]

LifeEdit

Blanco was born in Spain to a Cuban family. He immigrated with his family to Miami where he was raised and educated.

He graduated from Florida International University in Civil Engineering (1991) and Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (1997), where he studied with Campbell McGrath.

Since 1999, he has traveled and lived in Guatemala, and Brazil. He taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Central Connecticut State University.[2][3] He lives in Miami.[4]

His work has appeared in The Nation, Ploughshares,[5] Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly Review, New England Review, and Americas Review. Blanco is part of the online Letras Latinas Oral History Project archives.

WritingEdit

In the poem "Queer Theory, According to My Grandmother," he described how his grandmother warned him as a young boy: "For God’s sake, never pee sitting down.../I’ve seen you" and "Don't stare at The Six-Million-Dollar Man./I’ve seen you." and "Never dance alone in your room."[6]

When asked in a May 7, 2012 interview with La Bloga whether he considered himself a Cuban writer or simply a writer, Blanco responded: "I am a writer who happens to be Cuban, but I reserve the right to write about anything I want, not just my cultural identity. Aesthetically and politically, I don't exclusively align myself with any one particular group—Latino, Cuban, gay, or 'white'—but I embrace them all. Good writing is good writing. I like what I like."[7]

RecognitionEdit

On January 8, 2013, he was named the inaugural poet for Barack Obama's second inauguration, the fifth person to play that role. He is the first immigrant, first Latino, and first gay person to be inaugural poet.[8] He is also the youngest.[9]

AwardsEdit

  • 1988 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
  • John Ciardi Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference
  • Florida Artist Fellowship[10]
  • Residency Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
  • 2006 PEN Open Book Award (formerly known as Beyond Margins Award) for Directions to the Beach of the Dead

PublicationsEdit

AnthologizedEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Poems
Audio / video
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