Ware Lecture GA 2019

Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his three collections of poetry: City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. His latest book, Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. A new book of poems, How to Love a Country, is forthcoming from Beacon Press in April 2019. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

UU Lent – Day 45 – Rejoice

“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.”  ― John Calvin

“This is a day of celebration!
Today, we are divorcing the past
and marrying the present.
Dance,
and you will find God
in every room.
Today, we are divorcing resentment
and marrying forgiveness.
Sing,
and God will find you
in every tune.
Today, we are divorcing indifference
and marrying love.
Drink, and play that tambourine
against your thighs.
We have so much celebrating to do!”  ― Kamand Kojouri

“Rejoice in small things and they will continue to grow”
― Slaven Vujic

 

Thank you all for coming on this Lenten Journey with us. May your Easter be Happy and Bright!