Our scheduled speaker for this morning, Oklahoma cowboy poet Ron Wallace requested we reschedule him for a later date. Today’s Poetry Sunday will feature the video from last summer’s General Assembly when Richard Blano delivered the prestigious Ware Lecture. We are grateful that he accepted the invitation to speak last June and hope you will enjoy this reading of his poetry today.
Richard Blanco is an American poet, public speaker, author and civil engineer. He is the first immigrant, the first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest person to be the U.S. inaugural poet. His mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid where he was born on February 15th, 1968. Forty-five days later, the family immigrated once more to New York City. Only a few weeks old, Blanco already belonged to three countries, a foreshadowing of the concerns of place and belonging that would shape his life and work. Eventually, the family settled in Miami, where he was raised and educated. Growing up among close-knit Cuban exiles instilled in him a strong sense of community, dignity, and identity that he’d carry into his adult life as a writer. He and his husband live in Bethel, Maine.