Highly-acclaimed poet Richard Blanco, the Fifth Inaugural Poet of the United States, returns to his once home state of Connecticut to deliver a reading of original poetry at Middlesex Community College.
The poetry reading will be held on March 2 at 5 p.m. in MxCC’s Chapman Hall, located at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. The event is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow the reading.
Blanco was selected as the Fifth Inaugural Poet of the United States, an honor also bestowed upon poets such as Maya Angelou and Robert Frost. Blanco read his original poem written for the occasion, “One Today,” at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.
Blanco’s story is representative of the diversity in American society and the struggle of many to find their identities. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents, Blanco immigrated to the United States with his family when he was just a few weeks old. He spent his childhood in Miami, growing up among other Cuban immigrants. Blanco studied engineering and later creative writing at Florida International University. After publishing his first book, “City of a Hundred Fires,” Blanco moved to Connecticut and served as a professor of creative writing at Central Connecticut State University. Other publications by Blanco include books of poetry “Directions to The Beach of the Dead” (2005) and “Looking for The Gulf Motel” (2012), along with a memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood” (2014).
“To have a presidential inaugural poet read at Middlesex speaks volumes about the College’s commitment to diversity and its community,” said Christine Ruggiero, professor of English, and coordinator of this event. “The audience is sure to be riveted by Blanco’s unique background and approach to telling his story not only through his poetry but through visuals as well. This event also marks a high point for the College in its support of literary culture and creative writing endeavors.”