“Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background,” Mr. Blanco said in a telephone interview from the rural village of Bethel, Me., where he lives with his partner. “There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I’m writing about my family, I’m writing about him.”

Mr. Blanco must now compose an original poem for the president’s ceremonial swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 21. [..] Addie Whisenant, the inaugural committee’s spokeswoman, said Mr. Obama picked Mr. Blanco because the poet’s “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.”

Friends of Mr. Blanco’s, and fellow poets, say the president could not have found a more perfect fit. “I think he was chosen because his America is very similar to the president’s America,” said Liz Balmaseda [..] “You don’t have to be an exile, you don’t have to be Latino or gay to get the yearning in Richard’s poetry.”

Richard Blanco, 2013 Inaugural Poet – NYTimes.com

You can read a number of his poems on his website. I’ve previously never heard of him, but will check his work out now. Fascinating stuff.

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