Westwood In A Minute: Presidential Inaugural Poet Charms Audience at Westwood Children's Poetry Festival


Photo by Westwood Minute/Darlene Wong Cancell. Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco spoke on February 22, 2024, the final day of the Children's Poetry Festival organized by Westwood Poet Laureate Lynne Viti.

Acclaimed poet Richard Blanco, who last year was awarded the National Humanities Medal and in 2013 recited his poetry at President Barack Obama's inauguration, visited Westwood Public Library this Thursday, February 22nd, as the headliner to Westwood's first Children's Poetry Festival where he spoke of his childhood and the universal themes of belonging and home.

Westwood Minute will detail more on his visit in an article soon to come (keep on the lookout). For now, below are some words from Mr. Blanco, describing his interesting backstory: 

“I like to say I was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, imported to the United States. My mother left Cuba seven months pregnant. I’m born in Spain. Forty-five days after my birth, we emigrate to the United States. So, by the time I was 45 days old, I belonged to three countries - to Cuba, to Spain, and to United States - and yet to none, in a way.

That question of home, which is at the center of all of my work, feels like it was born even before I was born, because of these circumstances. . . . Home is like asking, 'What is love?' It's a constant thing that keeps changing and we keep asking questions of it." 

-- Richard Blanco

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