Richard Blanco Highlights Satirical Poetry by John Lithgow

On the latest segment of Village Voice, using poetry to better understand our lives and times, Richard Blanco highlights satirical poetry by John Lithgow. Blanco and Lithgow were the two poets in attendance at this year’s Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

“These poems, while they’re satirical and fun, they’re also very accomplished…masterful use of rhyme and meter…People often feel that rhyme for rhyme’s sake makes a poem, but it’s really what rhymes that makes a poem interesting.” read more…

Village Voice: Poet Richard Blanco Reflects on the Craft of the Letter Poem

Richard Blanco joins Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio for another segment of “Village Voice” with reflections on the craft of the letter poem.

“When you write directly to someone, the second person “you” feels very intimate and the reader feels like they’re overhearing this wonderful moment… It’s a great way to frame a poem. You get that direct connection.” read more…

Poet Richard Blanco Celebrates Pride Month

In the latest edition of “Village Voice,” Jim Braude and Margery Eagan celebrate Pride Month with poet Richard Blanco.

Blanco shared two of his own poems “ONE PULSE-ONE POEM” and “UNTIL WE COULD.”

In “ONE PULSE-ONE POEM” Blanco chronicles his creative process and the imperative need to write about the Pulse massacre as a way to make sense of the world, to heal and connect. read more…

Village Voice: Richard Blanco Honors Memorial Day with Poems by Veterans

Ahead of Memorial Day, poet Richard Blanco shared poems by veterans. “[Let’s] take a look at war from their perspective. I think it’s a perspective that’s sometimes missing from the general consciousness,” he said.

Blanco read “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa. Written in response to visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the poem discusses racism, loss, the consequences of war. Richard said how thanking someone for their service could never capture the depth and complexity of what it means to serve. “Here’s your service in these lines: it’s pain, it’s grit, it’s love, it’s so many things.” read more…

Using Photographs to Generate Poems; A Preview of a Poetry-Intensive at Maine Media Workshops

On the latest episode of “Village Voice,” poet Richard Blanco offers a preview of his poetry class for the Writers Harbor Poetry Week at Maine Media Workshops and College, which will focus on using photographs to generate poems.

“We think photographically; memories are photographic…photos are doorways into imagination. I’ll ask participants to bring photos that have mystique or intrigue, and to let the poem discover what it means…let the imagination open up to the past. We’ll also take photographs and then write a poem based on the photo we just took. The idea is to look at the world as a poem. We have to frame certain things, what are we choosing to focus on? What’s beyond the frame?” read more…

The Village Voice: Richard Blanco Celebrates National Poetry Month with Poems by US Poet Laureates

In the latest edition of “Village Voice,” using poetry to better understand our lives and times, Richard joins Jim and Margery to celebrate National Poetry Month with work by US Poet Laureates, Stanley Kunitz, Philip Levine, Tracy K Smith, and Juan Felipe Herrera.

“I wanted to think about the position of the US poet laureate, which is somewhat mysterious. The official term is US Poet Laureate Consultant of Poetry. Officially it’s run by the legislative branch of the government. In its original conception, it was a poet who advised the library of congress on matters of poetry, and that’s still what it is, technically. Of course, it’s grown into something much larger. Many amazing projects have come from these poets which are appointed for one year and then they can opt to do a special project and stay on for another year. Our current poet laureate, Joy Harjo, is one of just less than a handful of poet laureates serving a third term. She has an amazing project called “Living Nations, Living Works,” Native American Voices in Poetry in America. read more…

Richard Blanco Celebrates National Poetry Month with a Focus on Asian American Poets

In the latest edition of “Village Voice,” Richard Blanco kick starts National Poetry Month with poems by Chen Chen, Ocean Vuong, and Li-Young Lee.

“The children of immigrants need to embrace a given culture, but it is a negotiation, sometimes a struggle, sometimes a growing into an appreciation of recovering a past story and trying to understand your parents. [These poems] honor the stories of parents and grandparents while still carving space for themselves, exploring the trauma we inherit.”

Richard also spoke about “Hemingway,” the documentary by Ken Burns which aired on PBS recently, and within which Richard appears. He comments on Hemingway’s famous quote as one for writers to lives by: “Today I need to write one true sentence.” read more…