Two inaugural poets on one stage: Richard Blanco and Elizabeth Alexander at Yale

January 31, 2013

Richard Blanco, who gained national renown when he read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration, will be at Yale on Tuesday, Feb. 5, for a tea hosted by Stephen Pitti, master of Ezra Stiles College.

The event, which is Blanco’s first public appearance since the inauguration on Jan. 21, will take place in the Ezra Stiles College master’s house, 19 Tower Pkwy., at 4 p.m.

Blanco will give a public reading of his work and join in conversation with the President’s first inaugural poet, Elizabeth Alexander, who is a professor and chair of the African American studies department at Yale. 

“One Today” has earned critical acclaim: “In about 550 words, Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem created a metaphorical country and took it through the journey of a metaphorical day … ‘One Today’ was an intimate and sweeping celebration of our shared, single identity as a people,” remarked Hector Tobar in the Los Angeles Times.

Born to Cuban refugee parents in Madrid, Spain, Blanco grew up in Miami, where he received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering as well as an M.F.A. — some years later — in creative writing from Florida International University.

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