AMERICAN poet Richard Blanco is in Limerick this week to begin his writer in residence stint as part of City of Culture.
Blanco, who was chosen by US President Barack Obama as one of his inaugural poets in 2012, will begin the first of his speaking engagements in the Granary Library this Thursday evening.
The poet is visiting Ireland for the first time and will stay in Limerick for two weeks. He will also host public events in the UL School of Architecture, the Hunt Museum and Desmond Hall in Newcastle West.
“I am thrilled to be Limerick City of Culture’s writer in residence and visit Ireland for the very first time,” said Richard, the youngest, first Latino, and openly gay writer to hold the honour of being one of Obama’s chosen poets.
“I’m very much looking forward to discovering its ancient landscape and meet and work with the people of Limerick and beyond, and share in the universal language of poetry,” he added.
Blanco’s profile has soared since he wrote a poem for Obama, entitled One Today, which he read at the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC in 2013. Admission will be free to all of his events in Limerick.
City of Culture director Mike Fitzpatrick said the poet “negotiates the idea of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging - concepts that are relevant in modern day Ireland and indeed Limerick.”
See www.visitingwriterslimerick2014.blogspot.ie for more details.