Inaugural poet pays homage to American experience

U.S. President Barack Obama greets poet Richard Blanco after his reading at the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 21, 2013. (REUTERS0

The presidential inauguration puts poetry into the national spotlight, at least briefly, with the inaugural poem. This year’s poet, Richard Blanco, was among the many Latinos featured prominently at the inauguration, and his poem touched on being a Cuban exile in the United States.

From The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Poet Richard Blanco has delivered an inaugural poem paying homage to the American experience.

Blanco, at age 44 the youngest ever inaugural poet, recited a poem that painted vivid scenes about America and included reflections on his experience growing up as Cuban exile in New York City and Miami.

Blanco was born in Spain but emigrated to the United States with his parents. He was an engineer before he took up poetry. In addition to being the youngest ever inaugural poet, Blanco is the first Hispanic and the first openly gay person to serve in the role.

Blanco has published three books of poetry while maintaining his career as a consulting engineer.

Politico has the full text and video of Blanco’s poem. 

What do you think of the choice of Blanco as inaugural poet? Did you like his poem?

About Matt Eyer

Assistant Features Editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Read my (mostly ancient Greece-related) books reviews at Book Buzz. Follow me on Twitter @mjeyer.
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