Richard Blanco made history on Monday, January 21, 2013 by being the first Latino (Cuban American), openly gay, and youngest inaugural poet. Blanco, also a Civil Engineer and teacher, got into writing poetry later in life. In an interview on the PBS News Hour, Blanco says, “…after I graduated from engineering, I started, as I say, doodling around with poetry, fooling around with poetry, then went to a creative writing course at a community college, at Miami-Dade Community College. And then the one thing led to another. And as they say, the rest is history.“
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.
~ Richard Blanco, “One Today” (2013)
Blanco’s work is noted for its descriptiveness, beautiful imagery, and its discussion of identity, culture, inclusion, and place in society. His inaugural poem “One Today,” is one of unity and highlights the connection that we Americans share. Regardless of background, class, religion, sexual orientation, education, race, ethnicity, we’re all in this together. We must not let the often underhanded and divisive tactics of political, social, and religious figures and organizations paint a different picture. We are one. And Blanco’s “One Today,” is a beautiful example of this and the ties that bind us together.
Richard Blanco’s works of poetry include: City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Nowhere But Here (2004), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), and Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012).