Inaugural poet Richard Blanco at OCCC Monday

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  • Photo by Sam Farzanek Inaugural poet Richard Blanco comes to Orange County Community College on Monday.

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, who read from the steps of the United States Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013, will read his poem, "One Today," when he comes to Orange County Community College on Monday, April 21. He will read this poem, which he wrote for the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama, plus several others of his original works.

What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to have this significant, contemporary poet speak his words of connecting communities.

Blanco describes poetry as a mirror, that both he and the reader are looking into as they stand next to each another.

“The greatest gift of the inauguration was actually finally finding a home, the acceptance of the idea of who I was, reading that poem to America, for America,” he said. “The idea that I was home all along, that my story, my mother’s story, your story, all of our stories are the American story.”

Blanco is the author of five published books of poetry:

For All of Us Today
One Today: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration

Looking for the Gulf Motel

City of a Hundred Fires

Directions to the Beach of the Dead.

His books will be available for purchase and Blanco will do a book signing after the reading.

This poetry event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Gilman Center in the Library beginning at 7 p.m. The Library is located at the corner of South St. and East Conkling Ave., Middletown.

The following morning, Tuesday, April 22, in the Gilman Center from 8 to 9:15 a.m., Blanco will give a master class which, too, is free and open to the public. Entitled "Poetry for the People," he will explain his techniques and concepts in writing. He will share the captivating images and accessible narratives he uses that invite his readers and audiences to see themselves in his poems. He will also speak about how being the inaugural poet has been a life-changing role which has made his a public voice.

For more information, call Cultural Affairs at 845-341-4891 or email, or go to the school's Web site,

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  • Mar 19, 2018


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