Inauguration poet Richard Blanco back in Miami for reading


The South Miami engineer who became the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration – and the first openly gay, as well as the first Hispanic to do so – is glad to be back home where his historic journey began.

“I really, really missed Miami,” said Richard Blanco, 44, during a phone interview on Monday from his mother’s Miami home. He is visiting from his home in Bethel, Maine. “I couldn’t wait to get down here and do something with the community, which I’m so connected with obviously since I was 4-years-old.”

Blanco, son of Cuban exiles who was born in Spain and brought to South Florida as a small child, will recite his poems at a free event at the Arsht Center in Miami at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The event has been dubbed a “homecoming.”

“Miami’s such a great audience for me because I think they’ll obviously get a lot of my work in ways that other people might not get as deeply,” he said.

At the event, he will also read his inaugural poem, One Today, which he said will be published as a commemorative booklet in a few weeks.

The event is free, but reservations are required. For tickets, visit or call 305-949-6722.

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