Richard Blanco, a son of Cuban exiles who grew up in Miami, will recite an original poem at Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration, on January 21, according to the New York Times.
From the moment Barack Obama burst onto the political scene, the poet Richard Blanco, a son of Cuban exiles, says he felt “a spiritual connection” with the man who would become the nation’s 44th president.
Like Mr. Obama, who chronicled his multicultural upbringing in a best-selling autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” Mr. Blanco has been on a quest for personal identity through the written word. He said his affinity for Mr. Obama springs from his own feeling of straddling different worlds; he is Latino and gay (and worked as a civil engineer while pursuing poetry). His poems are laden with longing for the sights and smells of the land his parents left behind.
Now Mr. Obama is about to pluck Mr. Blanco out of the relatively obscure and quiet world of poetry and put him on display before the entire world.
To learn more about Blanco, who honed his craft at FIU and writes about “negotiating the world” as a “mainstream gay” man who came out of a very conservative culture, read the NYT’s profile. On this recording, Blanco reads “América”, a poem from his first collection, City of a Hundred Fires.
With Election Day looming, there is a tension in the air all across America that even a diligent disregarder of politics can’t help but feel. The heated presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, with its bottomless negativity and relentless fear-mongering, has brought the tension to new heights, but, in truth, America now exists in a perpetual state of hyper-partisan apoplexy, and has for all of the 21st Century.
I’m embracing Barack Obama for president again. Here’s why. — photo by @barackobama via Instagram
With the presidential election one week away, newspaper editorial boards across the country are announcing their endorsements. In Florida, the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times endorsed President Barack Obama while the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel threw their weight behind Republican challenger Mitt Romney. For its part, the Palm Beach Post is choosing not to endorse a candidate for president and is instead presenting a case for each candidate to its readers.