Richard Blanco, who last month became the fifth presidential inaugural poet, will be at Union College in Schenectady tonight at 7-PM to read from his works. Previous inaugural poets have included Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Although his poems have appeared in top literary journals and anthologies, including The Nation, New Republic, Michigan Quarterly Review and The Best American Poetry, Blanco was not widely known until he was chosen by President Barack Obama as the inaugural poet.
Obama selected Blanco because his “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.” Blanco became the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay person to be named the inaugural poet. At the inauguration, Blanco read his poem, One Today – which is being released in book form today.
Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what Calvin Trillin calls a pause for prose With the same barbed wit he displayed in the bestsellers Deciding the Next Decider, Obliviously On He Sails, and A Heckuva Job, America’s deadline poet trains his sights on the Tea Party and the slapstick field of contenders for the Republican nomination.
Leave Your Sleep is a collection of classic children's poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, which opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears.
The WordXWord Festival is an 8-day festival taking place at a variety of venues in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Venues range from store fronts to stages, studios to street corners, and rooftops to restaurants. Word X Word was founded in 2009 by Jim Benson, and he joins us with a preview this morning along with Leigh Strimbeck who will tell us about her new WAM Theatre piece about the impact of social media on women's lives.
In honor of National Poetry Month, it's the Poetry Forum on this edition of Vox Pop, when we ask you to read your favorite poems. Our panel of poets is also in studio with their works and their favorites. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.