Richard Blanco

Workshop Leader

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco, MFA, was chosen in 2013 to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, performing “One Today,” an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to hold the honor. He was born in Madrid and immigrated to the United States as an infant with his Cuban-exile family. He was raised in Miami and earned a BS in civil engineering and MFA in creative writing from Florida International University. His award-winning collections of poetry include "City of a Hundred Fires" and "Directions to the Beach of the Dead".

The Gathering Room


The Gathering Room

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Dec 11 - 13 2020


$250 for the weekend

Richard Blanco: Family Matters: Using Your Family Photos to Inspire Your Poems

This program is sold out. Registration is closed.

“Richard Blanco’s contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved a path forward for future generations of writers.”  — Barack Obama

The inaugural poet for President Obama and the first-ever Education Ambassador for the Academy of American poets, Richard Blanco is passionately dedicated to inspiring students through the close reading and writing of poems. In this one-of-a-kind workshop, you’ll join Richard to write poems based on family photographs that you bring from home — resonant, evocative, perhaps treasured, perhaps troubling, but guaranteed to spark your creative responses. Family photographs are full of rich and powerful stories that often remain untapped. Using them as prompts to generate poetry that mines and explores those stories more deeply, you’ll share your work with others and investigate the relationship among image, imagination, memory, and narrative. You’ll discuss some core techniques of poetry, such as sensory details, the poetic line, figurative language, and musicality. Bring two or three family photos (print or digital) that hold some personal mystique, imaginative interest, and emotional complexity. Open to writers of all levels.

As with all our paid programs, recordings will be shared with registered participants, with a time limit and restrictions on sharing.

Weekend Schedule (Remember to convert if you are not on Eastern Time)

6:00- 8:00pm EDT Friday night, first session

9:15am -12:15pm EDT Saturday, second session

3:15-6:15pm EDT Saturday, third session

7:45-10pm EDT Saturday, fourth session

9:00am -1:00pm EDT  Sunday, fifth session