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Los Angeles POP-UP Cocktails with Richard Blanco

This cocktail event will be hosted by David Francis & Scott Lander at the Former Ruskin Art Club House in Hancock Park, a Los Angeles Cultural Historic Monument, Sunday, November 17, 2019.

PEN POP-UP Cocktails

Richard Blanco

An evening with Richard Blanco, President Obama’s Inaugural Poet, discussing How To Love A Country.

Seating at this cocktail event will be limited and available by making a donation to PEN America.

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Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, 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 and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of the poetry collections Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; the poetry chapbooks Matters of the Sea, One Today, and Boston Strong; a children’s book of his inaugural poem, “One Today,” illustrated by Dav Pilkey; and Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler. His latest book of poems, How to Love a Country (Beacon Press, 2019), both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. He has also authored the memoirs The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. Blanco’s many honors include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, and two Maine Literary Awards. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and received honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College, and the University of Rhode Island. He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Fresh Air. The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador in 2015. Blanco has continued to write occasional poems for organizations and events such as the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana. He lives with his partner in Bethel, ME.

PEN POP-UPs are unique gatherings, featuring writers, interdisciplinary artists, and cultural commentators in thought-provoking conversations, at private homes and other intimate settings throughout Greater Los Angeles.

Proceeds from these conversations help support PEN America’s ongoing efforts to defend free expression, to campaign for persecuted and imprisoned writers, and to promote literature and international cultural exchange.

For more information, contact Tracey Kardash at [email protected].