Barrack Obama’s inaugural poet to visit Limerick as part of the Limerick National City of Culture 2014

AMERICAN LITERARY SUPERSTAR Richard Blanco will be coming to live in Limerick as a Writer-in-Residence, as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014, from August 25 to September 8.

Blanco was chosen by Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in 2012 following in the footsteps of luminary American writers Maya Angelou and Robert Frost. Blanco is the youngest, first Latino, and openly gay writer to hold this honour and was chosen as Obama believed the poet’s “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.”

Blanco wrote a poem for the occasion, entitled One Today, which he read at the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC in January 2013. Since then, Blanco’s profile has soared and he has given up his profession as a civil engineer to concentrate on writing full time.

unnamedPoet Richard Blanco commented:

“I am thrilled to be Limerick City of Culture’s Writer in Residence and visit Ireland for the very first time. I’m very much looking forward to discovering its ancient landscape and meet and work with the people of Limerick and beyond, and share in the universal language of poetry.

Limerick City of Culture Director, Mike Fitzpatrick said:

This will be a fantastic opportunity for Irish audiences to hear a major American literary figure in person. Richard Blanco’s poetry negotiates the idea of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging. Concepts that are very relevant in modern day Ireland and indeed Limerick. Richard Blanco will host work-shops with aspiring writers, visit schools and community groups and give talks and lectures throughout his two week residency.”

Blanco is the author of City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013).

Blanco has received numerous honours for his writings and performances, including an honorary doctorate from Macalester College and being named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He is currently working on a full-length memoir.

Richard’s residency is part of Limerick City of Culture’s visiting writers series. Richard Blanco’s first public engagement will be a reading in the Granary Library Limerick City on Thursday 28th August at 8pm. Admission is free to all events including workshops.

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