A lively, multi-dimensional speaker and performer, Richard Blanco combines the motivational power of his poetry and storytelling, with his wit and wisdom, to inspire organizations and institutions. His unique and diverse perspectives as a poet, civil engineer, memoirist, professor, and gay Latino, generate dialog and understanding on a wide range of subjects and issues of our day, including cultural identity and diversity, immigration, LGBT community and sexuality, and the importance of creativity in our lives and changing workplaces. Serving as a catalyst through art, he inspires audiences to discover their unique selves, while also celebrating our shared humanity.
Across the country and internationally, he is sought after as a refreshing alternative to the typical keynote address or lecturer, often creating original poems to commemorate special events or causes. He has appeared at a variety of venues and functions, including: The 2013 Presidential Inauguration, the 2015 re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Boston Strong Concert, the 2013 Fragrance Awards at Lincoln Center, Fenway Park, Tech Awards Gala, the Poetry Foundation, the USDA, and the State Department, as well as at various professional firms, middle and high schools, colleges and universities, creative writing programs, commencement ceremonies, civic organizations, advocacy groups, and fundraisers.
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“Everyone has agreed that Richard was the best part of the evening! Thank you for making it the best awards ever in the history of the industry!—Elizabeth Musmanno, Fragrance Foundation Awards
“We could not possibly feel happier about this entire weekend you spent with us. We are all on a real high! We loved your keynote. It was entertaining and heartwarming. You tap into everyone's experiences, with depth and emotion, by sharing your own story with with your distinctive style. A giant thank you from this entire community for your generosity of spirit...—Susan Page, Executive Director, San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival
“Richard was marvelous, in every respect...He brought a refreshing clarity to the table, and his modesty and good humor made him approachable and easy to talk with. I don't think we could have asked for a better guest!—Charlotte Holmes, Director of Creative Writing at Penn State University
“The way Richard was able to interweave the themes of Trekkers throughout was simply brilliant. His gift of connecting words and his warmth in connecting with people created a truly memorable experience for all. In fact, it seems our whole community is buzzing with excitement following his visit. We’ve received so many touching comments and positive messages describing the event as magical, awesome, inspirational, mesmerizing, entertaining, a high impact evening.—Don Carpenter, Executive Director, Trekkers – Connecting Young People with Caring Adults
“Our group of prominent literary figures, academics and cultural editors were engrossed by Richard and his insights into America and poetry, and his personal experiences as a gay, Latino, immigrant. After the event, our usually jaded audience gushed about Mr. Blanco’s talent, his enthusiasm, his unique perspective and his complete lack of pretension. Events like these make our job as public diplomacy officers, helping international audience understand and appreciate America, much easier.—Marie Blanchard, Public Diplomacy Officer, US Embassy, Athens
“That was the most fantastic season opener we could have hoped for—what a wonderful time we had with you here in Buffalo! You were amazing and you brought many people closer to Just Buffalo and closer to Poetry. The feedback continues to pour in from people saying how much they loved it; how they never thought they liked poetry but they want to now get your books and read more; and how they want to come to more BABEL events. The way various communities engaged, including the Cuban community and the Geneseo Migrant Center, also meant so much to us. I hope you felt the love and enthusiasm and how much Buffalo loves Blanco.—Laurie Dean Torrell, Executive Director, Just Buffalo Literary Center
“It was truly a joy and a pleasure to have you at Poetry@TECH. You lit up our audience in a way I have rarely, if ever, seen. You brought a sweet spirit to GT that I hope will linger for a long time to come. The downside is—you set the bar so high, that our audience may be disappointed with the rest of the season. For many in the crowd, this was their first ever poetry reading—you hooked them.—Travis Denton, McEver Chair in Poetry, Georgia TECH
“I was recently blessed with the opportunity of hearing you speak and the event was a distinct gift of immeasurable value. Frankly I have listened to many poets do readings – I have never experienced anything quite like you. Your expression, articulation, body energy, and presence were of a pure bright substance, and the poems themselves speak a truth of compassion, clarity, humor, detail, and resolve.”—Lydia Moore DuPertuis, RN