Richard Blanco, the inaugural poet for President Obama’s second term, is the first Mainer, immigrant, Latino and openly gay poet chosen to read at a presidential inauguration. He spent a day at Bowdoin last week, a visit that culminated in his giving a moving talk and reading in Memorial Hall.
Leana Amaez, associate director of multicultural student programs, introduced Blanco to the audience. She recalled watching Blanco at the January inauguration ceremony, and hearing his words, “hands as worn as my father’s cutting sugar cane, so my brother and I could have books and shoes.” She said, “I was floored. For the first time in my life, I heard my story on the inaugural stage. I heard my family’s story, so beautifully interwoven by Richard Blanco into the American story. …Richard Blanco had managed to capture with his words my identity, and make me feel it was part of a nation’s.”
More Bowdoin Talks available here.