Richard Blanco is a poet whose cultural heritage and professional
interests epitomize diversity. According to his website (http://www.richard-blanco.com), Blanco "was
made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States-meaning
his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived
as exiles from Cienfuegos, Cuba to Madrid, where he was born." The family
then immigrated to New York, and Blanco eventually ended up in Miami,
where he still resides. Blanco is trained as an engineer and a poet,
and he has also been known to design furniture, play the bongos, and
take underwater photographs.
Blanco's first book, City of a Hundred Fires, won the University of Pittsburgh
Agnes Starrett Prize in 1997. City of a Hundred Fires has garnered much
praise for its lyricism and its vivid portrayal of Cuban-American life. According
to Campbell McGrath, it is "one of the most exciting first books of the decade." Sandra
Cisneros writes, "What a delicia these poems are, sad, tender, and filled with
longing. Like an old photograph, a saint's statue worn away by the devout, a
bolero on the radio on a night full of rain. Me emocionan. There is no other
way to say it. They emotion me."
Richard Blanco lives in Miami, where he works as an engineer and oversees local
literary events and programs.