DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

July 4, 2013

Hyla Brook Poets welcome Obama inaugural poet


Derry News

---- — 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.

A third collection, “Looking for the Gulf Motel,” won the Patterson Poetry Prize and Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle.

Blanco’s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2000, Great American Prose Poems, Breadloaf Anthology of New American Poets, and American Poetry: The Next Generation.

Blanco is a Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, recipient of two Florida artist fellowships, and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

Blanco is also a professional civil engineer currently living in Bethel, Maine.

This is a joint presentation of the trustees of the Robert Frost Farm and the Hyla Brook Reading Series.

Upcoming Hyla Brook Reading Series events include X.J Kennedy on July 11; Dan Chiasson on Aug. 8; and Alfred Nicol on Sept. 12.

A monthly writing workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at its summer home at the Frost Farm. The next workshop is July 20.

For information, contact Robert Crawford at bobik9@aol.com or visit facebook.com/HylaBrookPoets.