Richard Blanco in conversation with WGBH’s Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

THU, APR 25, 2019

Selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, Richard Blanco followed in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. The youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role, he read his inaugural poem, “One Today,” on January 21, 2013. Blanco and his family arrived in Miami as exiles from Cuba through Madrid, where he was born. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his three collections of poetry. His poems have also appeared in The Best American Poetry and Great American Prose Poems. Blanco is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. A builder of cities as well as poems, he is also a professional civil engineer and lives in Bethel, Maine, and Miami, Florida. He currently serves as the Education Ambassador for the American Academy of Poets.

+ BIO: Margery Eagan

Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio. She has worked with co­-host Jim Braude for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013.

+ BIO: Jim Braude

Jim Braude is the host Greater Boston and co-host of Boston Public Radio. He has worked with co-host Margery Eagan for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013. During law school, Jim ran a small retail business in Provincetown (HUBE - Help Us Break Even!). He started his professional career as a legal services lawyer in the South Bronx handling housing and prisoners’ rights cases. He was the founder and first president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, a union representing staff in civil legal offices for the poor in 35 states. NOLSW helped lead the fight to preserve the national program when President Reagan proposed its abolition. He then served as the executive director of TEAM, the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, a tax reform coalition, during which time he led many ballot campaigns, including the defeat of what would have been the largest budget cut on the ballot in U.S. history. He published Otherwise, a magazine on American politics, and then served as a Cambridge City Councilor. Jim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University’s Law School.

+ BIO: Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco is an American poet, public speaker, author and civil engineer. He is the fifth poet to read at a United States presidential inauguration, having read for Barack Obama’s second inauguration. He is the first immigrant, the first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest person to be the U.S. inaugural poet.

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