Richard Blanco

marlene lopez

(Blanco, Richard) Richard Blanco released his first book of poetry in 1999, City of a Hundred Fires, a critically acclaimed collection that won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. In 2005, he published Directions to the Beach of the Dead, which received the Beyond Margins Award. In 2011, Blanco published the electronic chap book Place of Mind, and the following year he released Looking for the Gulf Motel, a collection of poems that touches on the author’s life as a gay man negotiating space between domestic and immigrant cultures. After the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama, Blanco was informed that he had been chosen as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States. His list of publications since then include the coming-of-age memoir The Prince of los Cocuyos, the inspirational and reflective For All of Us, One Today, and the commemorative chapbooks, One Today and Boston Strong. In Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press), Blanco joins some of the country’s most admired authors to describe their treks through dark memories and breakthrough moments and attest to the healing power of putting words to experience. Boundaries: Richard Blanco & Jacob Hessler (Two Ponds Press) is a collaboration of words and images exploring the historical, tangible and invisible boundaries that divide the people of this melting pot nation of immigrants. Blanco uses ekphrasis and occasional poetry to illuminate the haunting and mysterious imagery of fine art photographer, Jacob Hessler, whose modern landscape photography has been celebrated for its fresh and distinctive visual voice.