Richard Blanco Pens Poem for Opening of U.S. Embassy in Cuba


Poet Richard Blanco was recently selected to write a poem for the occasion of the “re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba,” according to WGME. Blanco also read at the inauguration of President Obama.

The Cuban-American poet who grew up in Miami hopes that the honor helps him to expand “poetry’s reach” on both a national and international level. Blanco says that being chosen to write and deliver a poem at this important diplomatic moment means a lot to him. “I started crying on the spot,” he notes. It was “something [he] never even imagined [he’d] see in [his] lifetime.”

Blanco’s work is particularly fitting for the occasion, as he often writes about “the exile community.” He is simultaneously proud of his American upbringing and his Cuban heritage, as his poem indicates.

Recently, Blanco was also appointed an education ambassador by the Academy of American Poets. This new role will allow him to continue to work towards de-stigmatizing poetry as a highly academic activity. Ideally, Blanco wants educators and students alike to “see poetry in a less intimidating way.”

According to the article, Blanco’s embassy poem will soon be published, and all royalties associated with its publication will be given directly to the Friends of Caritas Cubana organization.

Read the full article here.