Idaho Humanities Council - Richard Blanco - Boise Center West Primary tabs

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  • Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 6:00-9:00


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Historic presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco will deliver the Idaho Humanities Council’s 23rd Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture at Boise Centre West.

Blanco is one of the most beloved and influential poets and storytellers writing today. Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. History, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his three collections of poetry: City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburg Press; Directions to the Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for the Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award.

He has authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and the Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. Blanco’s latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. In this new collection of poems, his first in over seven years, Blanco continues to invite a conversation with all Americans. Through an oracular yet intimate and accessible voice, he addresses the complexities and contradictions of our nationhood and the unresolved sociopolitical matters that affect us all.

He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

The event is made possible in part by support from Holland & Hart, Boise State University, Idaho State University, Idaho Public Television, Boise State Public Radio, and Rediscovered Books.

No-host reception and silent auction - 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Dinner - 7 p.m. with author talk afterwards.

Tickets are avaiable for purchase HERE or by phone at 208-345-5346.

Books will be available for sale at the event and Richard will be signing them afterwards.