Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco a Familiar Face at Bethesda's Writer’s Center

Blanco will return to Bethesda to read his work May 18.

Richard Blanco, the poet who read his work “One Today” at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, has ties to the writing community in Bethesda.

Blanco is a former workshop leader at according to Mia Cortez, a spokeswoman for the center.

Blanco is the first openly gay person and first Hispanic person to serve as inaugural poet, The Huffington post reported. Blanco, 44, is also the youngest poet to read his work at an inauguration, ABC News reported.

Blanco, who is of Cuban descent and was raised in Miami, has taught at American University and Georgetown University.

“Poetry helps tell the truth of our country’s story, in all its complexity and mess and striking beauty. For too long, there has only been one public version of the story – triumphalist, white male," poet Sarah Browning, who met Blanco at The Writer's Center, told The Washingon Blade. "By choosing Richard Blanco – queer and Latino — President Obama recognized that too many of us have been excluded from the official version for too long.”

The poet plans to return to Bethesda this spring. He’s set to read his work at the Writer’s Center May 18.


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