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Durham County Library and Durham Technical Community College to Host Richard Blanco, the Presidential Inaugural Poet

DURHAM — Durham County Library and Durham Technical Community College have teamed up to host an evening of poetry with Richard Blanco, the youngest, first Latino and first openly gay poet to serve as the presidential inaugural poet. Blanco will read from his three prize-winning books, City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and Looking for the Gulf Motel at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 13 at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St. The reading is free and open to the public.

Blanco describes himself as made in Cuba, assembled in Spain and imported to the United States—meaning his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid where he was born. Only 45 days later, the family emigrated once more and settled in New York City, then eventually in Miami where he was raised and educated. As an inaugural poet, Blanco joins the ranks of Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander. On January 21, 2013, he read “One Today” as an honorary participant in the official ceremony. Blanco is a builder of cities as well as poems; he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a master of fine arts in creative writing.

The event is sponsored by Friends of the Durham Library, Durham Library Foundation and the Durham Technical Community College Foundation. Event partners include American Tobacco; Dos Perros; El Centro Hispano; Local Government Credit Union; NC Pride; NoveList; Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, Duke University; Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; COLORS of NCCU; NCCU LGBTA Resource Center; Polychromes, GBT Faculty, Staff, & Allies at NCCU. For more information call Joanne Abel at 919-560-0268.

Prior to the reading, Durham Library Foundation will host a special “Meet the Poet” fundraiser reception in the Connie Moses Ballroom of the Carolina Theatre. The reception, which runs from 6-7 p.m., is $50 per person. Proceeds benefit Durham Library Foundation, which has as a mission funding the margin of excellence for Durham County Library. More information about the reception is available by calling Alice Sharpe at 919-560-0193.

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit

Contact: Gina Rozier
919-560-0151 or


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