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Life & Times

July 4, 2013

Hyla Brook Poets welcome Obama inaugural poet

DERRY — The Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm and the Hyla Brook Poets are hosting a historic event featuring Richard Blanco, President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Poet 2013, in a presentation July 25 at 7 p.m. at the Derry home of the country’s first inaugural poet, Robert Frost.

The free reading is open to the public and includes a question-and-answer with the poet and a book signing. An open mic follows.

The Frost Farm is located at 122 Rockingham Road, Route 28.

“Fifty-two years ago, Robert Frost read ‘The Gift Outright’ at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy,” Frost Farm trustee and Hyla Brook Poets co-founder Robert Crawford said. “This July, we will have the privilege of hearing Richard Blanco, who read his poem ‘One Today’ at Barack Obama’s inauguration, give a poetry reading at the Frost Farm.”

Crawford said having Blanco come to Derry is special.

“Richard has been reading around the country this summer to large audiences and it will be a treat to hear him read in the intimate setting of the Frost barn,” he said. “Seating inside is limited so get there early.”

In January, Blanco joined the ranks of poets like Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander when he read his poem “One Today,” as part of the inaugural ceremonies for the second term of President Obama.

Frost, the first inaugural poet, read for President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in January 1961.

Blanco’s acclaimed first book, “City of a Hundred Fires,” explores the yearnings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American and received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His second book, “Directions to the Beach of the Dead,” won the PEN American Beyond Margins Award for its continued exploration of the universal themes of place and homecoming.

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