Richard Blanco will be the 2013 inaugural poet. He will also be the first gay and the first Latino inaugural poet. At 44, he is also the youngest inaugural poet. Blanco was born in Spain, but grew up with his Cuban parents in Miami. He currently lives in Maine. His website can be found here
and his Twitter account is @rblancopoet
Blanco's first poetry collection, City of a Hundred Fires
, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh. His second book of poetry, Directions to The Beach of the Dead
, won the PEN American Center Beyond Margins Award. Blanco's most recently poetry collection is Looking for The Gulf Motel
, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2012.
President Obama said in a statement
, "I'm honored that Richard Blanco will join me and Vice President Biden at our second Inaugural. His contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved a path forward for future generations of writers. Richardís writing will be wonderfully fitting for an Inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nationís great diversity."
Blanco says, "I'm beside myself, bestowed with this great honor, brimming over with excitement, awe, and gratitude. In many ways, this is the very 'stuff' of the American Dream, which underlies so much of my work and my life's story-America's story, really. I am thrilled by the thought of coming together during this great occasion to celebrate our country and its people through the power of poetry."
Photo: Nico Tucci/Richard-Blanco.com