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Episode 8 --- Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco will forever be associated with President Obama's second inauguration in 2013. That's when he stood before roughly a million people and recited his poem, "One Today," while the president, vice president, several other dignitaries and millions more watching on television or online looked on.

Richard was the youngest inaugural poet in history, as well as the first Latino, the first immigrant and the first openly gay poet to have this honor.

His poem focused on what unites us as Americans. Richard likes to say, he was "made in Cuba, assembled in Spain and imported to the United States."

As a Cuban-American who grew up in Miami, he spent a lot of his time pondering his identity. Was he too Cuban to be American? Too American to be Cuban? And, not surprisingly, questions of identity dominate his work.

In 2014, he published a memoir about his childhood. The Prince of Los Cocuyos will make you laugh and it will touch your heart as Richard tells his story of growing up as a sensitive young boy who was discouraged from showing his artistic side. And, the ending is just so beautiful it will give you a major case of the feels.

Interview Highlights:

Richard reveals...

- what it's like to have the president's ear

- why he doesn't write every day

- how his love of math helps his writing

- why he supports a "liberal arts approach" to life

- the Pulitzer Prize winning poet he's just not that into

- why people who say they don't like poetry might be mistaken

We have a free, signed copy of Richard's The Prince of Los Cocuyos to give away to the first listener who sends us a tweet or writes on our Facebook page telling us one of the poets Richard said would make a great "starter poet."

Contest Rules:

If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible for this contest. Also, if you and I have ever shared natural hair tips or a meal, you're out of luck. ReadMore does not have a friends and family plan! But I love you though, promise!

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