News Archive 2009-2018

Video: Mainer Richard Blanco Delivers Inaugural Poem (PBS) Archives

Mainer Richard Blanco followed in the footsteps of the likes of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou when he delivered the inaugural poem Monday at President Barack Obama’s swearing in ceremony. He is only the fifth poet to compose an original piece for an inauguration, reports The Associated Press, in an article picked up by the Portland Press Herald. Reflecting on the poem’s themes of the American experience, Anthony Walton, Bowdoin’s writer-in-residence, was interviewed by the AP for the story, noting the poem was brilliant for its ability to connect with so many people simultaneously. “I was moved by how, in the spirit of such American public poets as Whitman and (Carl) Sandburg, his vision was both large-hearted and specific, both celebratory and truth-telling,” says Walton in the piece. “Writing a poem that important on ‘deadline’ is not an enviable task, and he rose to the occasion.” At 44, Blanco is not only the youngest inaugural poet, but the first Latino and openly gay person to serve the role. Read the article and the text of Blanco’s poem, “One Today.”