Engineer-Turned-Poet Richard Blanco On Being 1st Gay Poet To Read At A Presidential Inauguration

by • April 1, 2013 • Art, Books, Inspiration, LGBTComments (0)2900

It would be difficult to think of a bigger platform for poet than a Presidential inauguration; and that is exactly the platform that was given to Richard Blanco.  Six weeks before President Obama’s second inauguration on Monday, January 21, 2013, Blanco was informed of his prestigious selection, which left him only 42 days to write the most important poem of his lifetime.  Entitled “One Today”, Blanco wrote his poem from his home in Maine which he shares with his partner of 12 years, Mark Neveu.  CBS Sunday Morning recently caught up with Richard, where he tells the story of what happened during those six weeks, and how he used his backyard porch to rehearse the poem to one single guest — the snowman his nephews built a few weeks prior.  One of the most fascinating portions of the profile is when CBS correspondent Seth Doane takes Richard back to his roots in Miami where he grew up as the son of his Cuban immigrant parents, and where he originally carved out a career in civil engineering.  “Blanco’s first career was civil engineering.  Doane visited one of his projects in Dade County, where Blanco discussed the laying out of the road, the curbing, the concrete, where everything was going to go.  Blanco saw similarities between his civic design and his poems: ‘What I do in poetry is sort of create a space for people to walk into mentally.”  You can watch CBS’ profile of Richard Blanco below, and to enter the world of Richard Blanco be sure to visit  You can also read and watch Richard Blanco’s “One Today” in full at ABC NEWS.

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BlancoSource: CBS Sunday Morning

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