Presidential inaugural poet Blanco to give Dickinson Lecture in American Poetry

October 08, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Richard Blanco, the poet at President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration, will give the Emily Dickinson Lectureship in American Poetry at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on Penn State's University Park campus.

The lecture is supported by Penn State alumni George and Barbara Kelly, the University Libraries, the Department of English and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Blanco stands as the youngest, first Latino and first openly gay person to serve as the poet at a presidential inauguration. His acclaimed first book, "City of a Hundred Fires," explores the yearnings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American and received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His second book, "Directions to The Beach of the Dead," won the PEN American Beyond Margins Award for its continued exploration of the universal themes of place and homecoming. His third collection, "Looking for The Gulf Motel," won the Patterson Poetry Prize and Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle.

He recently published commemorative chapbooks of "One Today" and "Boston Strong" with University of Pittsburgh Press. Blanco is a Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. A builder of cities and poems, Blanco is also a professional civil engineer currently living in Bethel, Maine.



  • Richard Blanco

    Poet Richard Blanco

    IMAGE: Craig Dilger

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 09, 2013