[PAST EVENT] An Evening with Richard Blanco

October 29, 2013
6pm - 7pm
Sadler Center, Commonwealth Auditorium
200 Stadium Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Richard was selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, joining the ranks of such luminary poets as Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander. On January 21, 2013, he read his original poem, "One Today" as an honorary participant in the official inaugural ceremony themed, "Faith in America's Future" commemorating our nation's perseverance. In this spirit, and to help heal the emotional wounds of the Boston Marathon bombing, Richard wrote "Boston Strong" a poem that he performed at the TD Boston Garden Benefit Concert and at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Richard has been commissioned to write and perform occasional poems for the National Fragrance Awards (Lincoln Center, NY) and The Tech Awards (Santa Clara, CA).

His acclaimed first book of poetry, City of a Hundred Fires, explores the yearnings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American, and received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. His second book, Directions to The Beach of the Dead won the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center for its continued exploration of the universal themes of cultural identity and homecoming. A third collection, Looking for The Gulf Motel, won the Patterson Poetry Prize, Maine Literary Poetry Award, and Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle. He recently published commemorative chapbooks of One Today and Boston Strong with University of Pittsburgh Press. Blanco is recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, a Residency Fellowship from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, a John Ciardi Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

His poems have appeared in top literary journals including, The Nation, the New Republic, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and TriQuarterly Review; and several anthologies including, The Best American Poetry, Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Great American Prose Poems, Breadloaf Anthology of New American Poets, and American Poetry: The Next Generation. He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning; National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and various conferences and venues including the Miami Book Fair, The Southern Writers Conference, The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Dodge Poetry Festival, and The Poetry Center at Smith College. Richard has been interviewed on major media from the U.S. and around the world: CNN, Telemundo, AC360, BBC, Univision, PBS and many others. Richard was Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University and has taught creative writing at Georgetown and American universities.

Richard Blanco was "made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States meaning his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid where he was born. Only 45 days later, the family emigrated once more and settled in New York City, then eventually to Miami where he was raised and educated. A builder of cities as well as poems, he holds a bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering and as well as Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Florida International University. He currently lives in Bethel, Maine.

For more information, contact [[vjhurt, Vernon Hurte]] at 757-221-2301.