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Release Date: 12/31/2013

2014 Seattle Reads to feature 'For All of Us, One Today' by Richard Blanco

"For All of Us, One Today"

In 1998, The Seattle Public Library launched a program to get Seattleites reading and discussing the same book. "Seattle Reads" is now an annual event and has been widely emulated in cities, states and countries around the world.


In the 16th year of the series, The Seattle Public Library will feature "For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey" by Richard Blanco. Blanco will visit Seattle in late April 2014 to talk with readers about his book. Details and a schedule of events will be announced in January.


In this brief and evocative memoir, Blanco tells the story of the call from a White House committee and all the exhilaration and upheaval of the days that followed. Chosen to serve as the fifth United States inaugural poet, he followed in the footsteps of luminaries Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Blanco presented "One Today," an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, first immigrant and first openly gay writer to hold the honor.


Blanco writes of developing a new, emotional understanding of what it means to be an American. He reveals the inspiration and challenges behind the creation of the inaugural poem "One Today," as well as two other poems commissioned for the occasion and included in the book, with translations of all three poems into his native Spanish. 


Blanco was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family
to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in creative writing. Blanco has been an engineer, writer, poet and teacher. He currently resides in Bethel, Maine. He has published three previous collections of poetry.


"Seattle Reads" deepens readers' appreciation of and engagement in literature, creates community around reading, and promotes conversation between readers and writer, friends and family.


It is made possible by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, with support from The Wallace Foundation, media sponsors KUOW 94.9 Public Radio and The Seattle Times, and Beacon Press.


For more information about "Seattle Reads," call the Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library at 206-386-4650.

For more information contact:


Linda Johns, Coordinator for Washington Center for the Book

Andra Addison, communications director

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