MIAMI (CBS4) – As the inaugural poet, Richard Blanco touched millions of people who watched President Barack Obama take office for a second term. Now that he’s back home in South Florida, Blanco wants to reach out to those closest to him.
“At the end of the day, Miami is home,” Blanco said. “I have great memories on every street corner of Miami and every time I return I make new memories. Even while I was in Maine I just wanted to jump on a plane and get down here.”
Blanco, a Cuban-American who lives in Maine, grew up in South Florida. He attended Christopher Columbus High School and Florida International University. A trained engineer, he always had a love for poetry and literature.
On Friday, he will recite his poems at a free event at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Downtown Miami. The event has been dubbed a homecoming for the inaugural poet, who believes his poetry resonates well with people in his hometown.
“I think people in Miami get what I’m writing about,” said Blanco. “Maybe they’re just paying closer attention because I am a native son, but I also believe they relate well to the stories I tell which are often immigrant stories of people trying to make it.”
Blanco said he had butterflies when he read “One Today” on Inauguration Day. He rubbed elbows with the First Couple, and chatted with Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, but when it came time to read the words he had written he says he was completely focused on his message of unity, inclusion and embracing cultures. Blanco hopes he sparked an interest in poetry for a new generation.
“I think poetry has an amazing power to embrace and entertain. You can’t be a Cuban-American poet and not have a few funny ones. I have a few up my sleeve that will just be fun,” said Blanco.
Blanco says he is very busy, getting many invitations to speak. His newfound notoriety has also allowed him to focus full time on his passion of writing poetry.
The event at the Adrienne Arsht Center is free, but those wishing to attend do need a ticket. Click Here for more information.