LAF Poetry Workshop to be led by Richard Blanco

Posted:  Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 10:15am
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The Lincoln Arts Festival announces inaugural poet Richard Blanco will lead its annual Poetry Workshop on Sept. 9 at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor from 1:30-4 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Blanco will read his poetry and sign copies of his books at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor. The workshop, $100 per person, is limited to 20 participants. As of Aug. 23, only six slots remained. Tickets can only be purchased by calling LAF at 633-3913 or emailing lincolnartsfestivalbbh@gmail.com.

President Barack Obama selected Blanco in 2012 to serve as the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history, following in the footsteps of such luminary poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Said Obama, “Blanco’s contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved the 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.”

Then 44, Blanco was the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in the role. He read “One Today,” a poem he wrote in Bethel for the occasion, at Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21, 2013. In “For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey” (2013), he shared the emotional details of the experience and reflected on his understanding of what it means to be an American. A children’s book of his presidential inaugural poem, “One Today,” in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey, was released in 2015.  The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador in 2015.

Since the inauguration, Blanco has been named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and has received honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College and the University of Rhode Island. His memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood” (2014), is a poignant, hilarious and inspiring exploration of his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. It received the 2015 Maine Literary Award for Memoir and the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir.

Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the shy boy or the openly gay man, the engineer or the presidential inaugural poet, Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that illuminates the human spirit. His work asks those universal questions we all ask ourselves on our own journeys: Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I in this world?

Tickets  for the poetry reading and book-signing at the Congo Church are $25 for adults and $10 for students. These tickets can be purchased at Sherman’s book stores  in Boothbay Harbor and Damariscotta and at www.lincolnartsfestival.org/tickets.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
Event Date: 
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 7:30pm