Richard Blanco is a poet whose cultural heritage and professional interests epitomize diversity. According to his website (, 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.


Poems by Richard Blanco

Photo shop


Tía Olivia Serves Wallace Stevens a Cuban Egg




    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2001 (with Martin Espada)