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Richard Blanco, MFA

U.S. inaugural poet and speaker

Richard Blanco, MFA

U.S. inaugural poet and speaker

Biography

Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in United States history, and the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role.

Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, his body of work is characterized by the negotiation of cultural identity and place. He is author of two memoirs, including For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet‰’s Journey and three poetry collections. He also holds a degree in civil engineering.

The recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honorary doctorates, Richard is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and was named the first Education Ambassador of the Academy of American Poets in 2015.

Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the scared boy or the openly gay man, the engineer or the inaugural poet, Blanco‰’s writings possess a quality that illuminates the human spirit. His captivating images and accessible narratives invite readers to see themselves in his poems, as his work asks the universal questions: Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I in this world?