Poet Richard Blanco Examines Destiny, Chance, And The Immigrant Experience

How are our lives shaped by decisions made long before we were born?

That’s a question poet Richard Blanco wrestles with in his latest installment of “Village Voice,” Boston Public Radio’s recurring conversation about how poetry can help us understand the news of the day. He looked at two poems, “Of Consequence, Inconsequently,” and “Taking My Cousin’s Photo At The Statue Of Liberty,” that look at how the notions of destiny and chance shape the immigrant experience.

This episode of “Village Voice” aired on WGBH Boston Public Radio on March 14, 2018.

Poet Richard Blanco Grapples With ‘The Hidden Racism In America’

In the latest installment of “Village Voice,” Blanco examined one of his own poems from the book “Boundaries,” titled “Easy Lynching On Herndon Avenue.” He was inspired to write it after seeing a present-day photo taken of Herndon Avenue in Mobile, Alabama, the site of the last recorded lynching in the United States in 1981. (The street was later renamed after the man who was murdered, Michael Donald.)

Blanco was shocked at the street’s quiet, ordinary appearance — “as if nothing happened here,” he wrote in an email. It made him think about, as he writes, “the hidden racism in America.” read more…

One Pulse — One Poem

The Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub hit home with Miami native Richard Blanco, best known for his poem ‘One Today’ delivered at President Obama’s second inauguration. Here is Blanco’s poem for Orlando

Chicago Humanities Festival

A poignant, hilarious, and inspiring memoir from the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet. Richard Blanco’s “The Prince of los Cocuyos” explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants in Miami and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities.

Blaney Lecture at The Academy of American Poets

Recorded at Poets Forum 2014 in New York City, the Blaney Lecture is an annual lecture series that was created in memory of former Academy of American Poets Board Member Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney. In this video, Richard Blanco, the 2013 inaugural poet of the U.S., discusses his role as the inaugural poet and his efforts to bring poetry to wider audience.

Bilingualism prevalent among many communities

Click here to watch full video on MSNBC

José Díaz-Balart talks to poet Richard Blanco about his new memoir “The Prince of Los Cocuyos” and his life growing up in the U.S. while trying to figure out his American identity surrounded by a family of Cuban exiles.

Until We Could

Until We Could, a gorgeous new video poem written by Richard Blanco, celebrates love and the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The film is narrated by Golden Globe winning actress Robin Wright and actor Ben Foster. For more info on the campaign to win marriage nationwide, visits www.freedomtomarry.org.