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Stories from the Coast

Richard Blanco to Give Keynote Address at the 2017 Maine Land Conservation Conference

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is excited to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2017 Maine Land Conservation Conference will be Richard Blanco, the 2013 U.S. inaugural poet.

Richard Blanco’s life experience spans continents, climates, languages, and landscapes. His poetry reflects that elasticity, expanding and contracting to contain the granular and grandiose, the urban and the rural, the majestic and domestic—often within the same stanza. At this year’s Maine Land Conservation Conference, the Bethel resident will consider this elastic form of expression as it relates to the work of conserving land, instilling a sense of place, and creating access to nature for all. His talk is entitled, “The Poetics of Place, Home and Nature.”

The Keynote Address will take place during the Plenary Session from 8:45 – 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, opening minds and hearts before a rigorous day of interactive workshops on topics ranging from building more accessible trails on preserves to mapmaking to climate change and more. We’d love for you to join us at the Conference. Click here for more information on the schedule of events and how to register.

"Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the scared boy of the openly gay man, the engineer or the inaugural poet, Richard Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that easily illuminates the human spirit. His captivating images and accessible narratives invite readers and audiences to see themselves in his poems, which for him are like mirrors in front of which we stand side by side with him—each one of us gazing into our respective lives blurred together with his, connecting us all across social, political, and cultural gaps. For in the end, his work asks himself those universal questions we all ask ourselves in our own journeys: Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I in this world?

Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, having participated in President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work.

A builder of cities as well as poems, Blanco holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. He shares his time between Bethel, Maine and Concord, Massachusetts."

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