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Obama Selects Gay Latino Poet Richard Blanco to Read at Inauguration Ceremony: VIDEO

Blanco

President Obama has chosen Richard Blanco to write and recite an original poem at his inauguration later this month, the NYT reports:

Like Mr. Obama, who chronicled his multicultural upbringing in a best-selling autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Mr. Blanco has been on a quest for personal identity through the written word. He said his affinity for Mr. Obama springs from his own feeling of straddling different worlds; he is Latino and gay (and worked as a civil engineer while pursuing poetry). His poems are laden with longing for the sights and smells of the land his parents left behind.

Now Mr. Obama is about to pluck Mr. Blanco out of the relatively obscure and quiet world of poetry and put him on display before the entire world. On Wednesday the president's inaugural planners will announce that Mr. Blanco is to be the 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of notables like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Blanco lives in Maine with his partner. He told the paper:

"Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background. There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I’m writing about my family, I’m writing about him."

Said Obama of Blanco, in a press release from the White House:

"I’m honored that Richard Blanco will join me and Vice President Biden at our second Inaugural," President Obama said today. His contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved a path forward for future generations of writers. Richard’s writing will be wonderfully fitting for an Inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nation’s great diversity.”

More info from the White House:

Born in Spain to Cuban exiles, Blanco’s parents emigrated to New York City days after his birth and eventually settled in Miami. Blanco began his career as a consultant engineer. Writing about abstract concepts and preparing arguments on behalf of his clients helped Blanco think about the "engineering” of language, and he left his job in 1999 for the creative writing faculty at Central Connecticut State University until 2001. Thereafter he served as instructor at various universities throughout the country, including American and Georgetown universities, all the while maintaining his career in consulting engineer.
 
Blanco's career as an English-language Latino poet gained momentum when his first collection, City of a Hundred Fires, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh. Blanco's second book of poetry, Directions to The Beach of the Dead, won the PEN American Center Beyond Margins Award.  His third collection, Looking for The Gulf Motel, was published in 2012.

Added Blanco: "I’m beside myself, bestowed with this great honor, brimming over with excitement, awe, and gratitude. In many ways, this is the very 'stuff' of the American Dream, which underlies so much of my work and my life’s story—America’s story, really.  I am thrilled by the thought of coming together during this great occasion to celebrate our country and its people through the power of poetry."

Watch Blanco give a reading in 2012 at NYC's Bryant Park, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I congratulate Obama for these symbolic statements but I want to see more than symbols. Symbols won't ensure that I am protected from discrimination when I'm applying for a federal job as a gay person.

    Obama must show us that he is prepared to help us at the legislative level with real and tangible progress. Enacting ENDA is the bare minimum that I expect from Obama within the next year. If he doesn't deliver, he will have failed us.

    Posted by: stephen lucas | Jan 9, 2013 8:48:14 AM


  2. Excellent. Wonderful Obama is finally able to see his support and how liberal he really is.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jan 9, 2013 8:48:18 AM


  3. ENDA has to be passed by Congress—Obama can't order it through executive fiat. If it came across his desk, then I damn well would expect him to sign it.

    Posted by: dizzyspins | Jan 9, 2013 9:20:39 AM


  4. Oh Jesus Christ. He uses a gay poet at his inauguration, ends DADT, and publicly states he is personally now in favor of gay marriage. How nice. But Obama is 'progressive' [i.e. liberal]?

    'Obama’s Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far'

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/politics/under-obama-a-skew-toward-male-appointees.html?_r=0

    There you go ladies. Thank you for your vote this past November. And you so-called minorities: Mr. President will get around to you guys.

    How's are our 'conflicts', around the world going? Did the Nobel Peace Prize winner end them like he promised? And what happened to all the anti-war protests? My goodness, they were all over the place when GW was POTUS. Poor Cindy Sheehan...she stills protest, doesn't matter if the POTUS is a 'conservative neocon' or 'progressive'.

    How's the Obama administrations prosecutions of white collar crime going? How many Wall St crooks are sitting in a prison cell now, I've lost count?

    How's that darn Patriot Act going? It's been fully repealed, right?

    Have a nice day.

    *sarcasm off*

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:06:57 AM


  5. BTW:

    'Latino' Senor Blanco looks whiter than me. I'm pretty sure he's of white European descent. Aside from the fact he's a homosexual, the Aryan brothers would welcome him with open arms.

    We have a lot of faux 'minorities' in America in 2912.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:11:48 AM


  6. Congratulations to Richard Blanco on being chosen to 'write and recite an original poem'! You are not a symbolic choice but one that is deserving of the task and should be well received.

    Posted by: Belthazar | Jan 9, 2013 11:18:55 AM


  7. Of course, Obama's biggest failure is his refusal to accept that his fellow "brothas" in the black community don't take into account how large their penises are. For those that don't know, my father was left crippled in a wheelchair and eventually died from a perforated anus after spending a couple hours high on the pleasures of having multiple horse-hung black men inside of him.

    And this shameful President refuses to do anything to curb the numbers of black men whose big penises make orphans out of little boys like me.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:23:47 AM


  8. "Latino' Senor Blanco looks whiter than me. I'm pretty sure he's of white European descent"

    Maybe he has some brown body parts, Ratbastard. I've seen that in Latin American porn. Delicicious.

    Didn't they give you some medication to calm you down? It's only 11:30am and you already seem to be in a tizzy.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 9, 2013 11:28:42 AM


  9. F U Lil' Canadian. You are a mega c*nt. Lucky you're not anywhere near me.

    -------------

    @Derrick,

    Blanco is white,Derrick,get over it. Even is effing name means white! 'Latinos' / 'Hispanics' of European descent are white,Derrick. They are no more a 'minority' [as so-called progressives use that word] than me.

    And no Derrick, I'm probably one of the statistically few gay men and Americans in general who isn't all hopped up on drugs and prescription meds. Maybe this why I see things so clearly and don't fall for all the cr*p.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:44:44 AM


  10. F U Lil' Canadian. You are a mega c*nt. Lucky you're not anywhere near me.

    -------------

    @Derrick,

    Blanco is white,Derrick,get over it. Even is effing name means white! 'Latinos' / 'Hispanics' of European descent are white,Derrick. They are no more a 'minority' [as so-called progressives use that word] than me.

    And no Derrick, I'm probably one of the statistically few gay men and Americans in general who isn't all hopped up on drugs and prescription meds. Maybe this why I see things so clearly and don't fall for all the cr*p.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:44:47 AM


  11. I repeat, blacks killed my dad with their big penises. The problem with America isn't that we have people shooting each other with guns, but that big penises create orphans. Just look how messed up I am!

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 11:54:52 AM


  12. And a former Bread Loaf fellow :-)

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jan 9, 2013 12:31:53 PM


  13. @ Ratbastard,

    Your posts are sometimes interesting, but this one was a little confusing:

    "There you go ladies. Thank you for your vote this past November. And you so-called minorities: Mr. President will get around to you guys."

    You don't think Obama has done enough for feminist women and racial minorities, and you're standing up for them? That's not in keeping with your usual line of inquiry. In any case, if you consider the U.S. Senate as reflective of prestige in the greater society, then you would have to conclude that racial minorities have a gripe, but white women do not. Just look at the faces in the U.S. Senate. That is not to mention the fact that 100% of the New Hampshire House of Representatives delegation is composed of white women. Just some random thoughts which you can add to, if you want.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Jan 9, 2013 12:36:30 PM


  14. artie, don't expect or look for honesty, logic and reason from a troll like ratbastard. his world can only exist if he ignores all three.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 9, 2013 12:41:49 PM


  15. When is it?

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 9, 2013 12:49:51 PM


  16. @Artie,

    You take my posts a little too seriously. I sometimes engage in what's called sarcasm.

    @Lil Canadian,

    Lil' C*unt, you are the mother of all trolls on here. I'm a piker compared to you.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 12:55:22 PM


  17. RATBASTARD/RICK judges everyone who isn't a white male. He is now an expert on who is and isn't latino and takes it upon himself to be the standard setter. As if!

    I can tell without seeing a picture of him that he is in fact, 100% an internet troll.

    Posted by: WOW | Jan 9, 2013 1:37:49 PM


  18. Well spent 19 minutes. Sometimes I forget how good poetry can be. I remember in grade school how Robert Frost impressed me when he read at the Kennedy inauguration, and as an adult the impact of Ms. Angelou for President Clinton. To me, Mr. Blanco will be a worthy addition. I now find myself waiting for his Gulf book of poems to be available on Kindle.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 9, 2013 2:48:29 PM


  19. Lil' Canadian is trolling again as 'wow';

    1) I'm not Rick

    2) I only judge non-white males? WTF does that even mean? It's retarded.

    3)If a 'Latino' or 'Hispanic' is of European descent such as Spanish, or Portuguese, they are white. Doesn't matter if they came from Europe to the new world by way of 'Latin' America. They are not a racial minority in the U.S. and in the U.S. , aside from being an American, there is no one dominant 'ethnicity', most Americans are in fact a mix of 'ethnicities'. Mr. Blanco [Mr. White in Spanish] is white, a white male of European descent. In fact he looks whiter than me.

    I find all these PC categories for human beings funny...and kinda sad. I of course understand 'progressives' like to pad so to speak the 'minority' population, which is one reason why the made up term 'Hispanic' came into being. That and the marketing/advertising industry categorizes everyone, and there are some 'Hispanic' politicians who thrive in the 'Hispanic' ghetto and don't want 'Hispanics' to consider themselves just Americans.

    =============

    Little Kiwi is TR's premier troll and shill all rolled into one. He's a spoiled brat from Toronto [that's in Canada,eh! We have gay marriage in Canada,eh, and that makes us so superior to Americans,eh. In fact everything about Canada is far superior to America, but whatever.] who has led a very comfortable and easy life, but gets his rocks off acting like a hard-arse on the internet and posting an obnoxious blog where he believes in tolerance, as long as you agree with 100% of what he says. Especially if you're another gay male. If you don't, you're a self hating closet queen.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 4:32:04 PM


  20. But the real issue is that since my father's death, which was caused by him bottoming for big black penises, I've been seriously messed up.

    Black Penises create white orphans. This is a fact.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 9, 2013 4:35:09 PM


  21. Artie in Lauderdale IS Kiwi. I was arguing with him once, and then he said, "Your father hates you...!" that whole Kiwi hangup thing...lol..

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 9, 2013 4:47:01 PM


  22. And, yes, Kiwi still lives with mommy and daddy, at HIS age ! That's why he'll never be the big star he wants to be...he can't even move to NYC or Los Angeles and support himself.

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 9, 2013 4:49:09 PM


  23. not really. but if telling yourself that keeps you from being reminded of your own sad life, go right ahead. :D
    won't affect me, won't make your own life better.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 9, 2013 4:51:01 PM


  24. MNop...Kiwi...being on here under many namres don't make YOUR life any better...LMAO. Werk !!!

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 9, 2013 4:53:00 PM


  25. Steve : Let's hope this guy is a better poet (as well as a nicer person) than the mean-as-hell Robert Frost and the overly-be-lipsticked warbling Maya Angelou.

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 9, 2013 5:02:53 PM


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