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December 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
In Person: An Evening With Presidential Inaugural Poet and National Humanities Medal Recipient Richard Blanco
Books & Books presents…
AN EVENING WITH RICHARD BLANCO
(Beacon Press, $25.95)
Saturday, December 2nd, 6:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables
Books & Books is overjoyed to present an evening with Presidential Inaugural poet, National Humanities Medal recipient, and first-ever official Miami Dade poet Laureate Richard Blanco, who will be discussing his new book of poems Homeland of My Body (Beacon Press, 25.95). Cuban Noche Buena-inspired appetizers, wine, and beer will be served.
This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.
About the Book:
“Tender and introspective. . . . An exceptional mid-career snapshot of a trailblazing poet’s remarkable journey.” Diego Báez, Booklist
“Blanco’s poems are journeys to a homeland within the heart, a welcome homecoming earned from a lifetime’s wise voyaging.” – Sandra Cisneros
“What I love about Blanco’s work is the lustiness of the poems; they have bodies, there’s such sensuality to the language, such flexibility to the line; and they display such delight in form, an unapologetic love for the world. He has become a poet who sings for all of us…” Julia Alvarez
A rich, accomplished, intensely intimate collection with two full sections of new poems bookending Blanco’s selections from his five previous volumes
“An engineer, poet, Cuban American…his poetry bridges cultures and languages—a mosaic of our past, our present, and our future—reflecting a nation that is hectic, colorful, and still becoming.”—President Joe Biden, conferring the National Humanities Medal on Richard Blanco, 2023
In this collection of over 100 poems, Richard Blanco has carefully selected poems from his previous books that represent his evolution as a writer grappling with his identity, working to find and define “home,” and bookended them with new poems that address those issues from a fresh, more mature perspective, allowing him to approach surrendering the pain and urgency of his past explorations. Pausing at this pivotal moment in mid-career, Blanco reexamines his life-long quest to find his proverbial home and all that it encompasses: love, family, identity and ultimately art itself. In the closing section of the volume, he has come to understand and internalize the idea that “home” is not one place, not one thing, and lives both inside him and inside his art.
The poems range in form, voice, and setting, showcasing his command of craft, but in essence they are one continuous reflection on the existential question at the core of all of Blanco’s poetry: how can we find our place in the world. All are characterized by his keen eye, deep sensibility, and polished craft, without pretense. This volume is a gift to Blanco’s many readers but even more to those who have yet to discover that they can understand, and fall in love with poetry, that a poet can speak to them about his own and their own lives so profoundly, and that this poet, as Barack Obama discovered, can speak for all of us.
About the Author:
Selected by President Obama as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco was the youngest, the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami in a working-class family, Blanco’s personal negotiation of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging characterize Blanco’s many collections of poetry, including his most recent, Homeland of My Body, which reassess traditional notions of home as strictly a geographical, tangible place that merely exist outside us, but rather, within us. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Day: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. Blanco has received numerous awards, including the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the PEN American Beyond Margins Award, the Patterson Prize, and a Lambda Prize for memoir. He was Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary degrees. Currently, he serves as Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets and is an Associate Professor at Florida International University. In April 2022, Blanco was appointed the first-ever Poet Laureate of Miami-Dade County.