Maine poet Richard Blanco will read a new poem commemorating the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.

Blanco, a Cuban-American who lives in Bethel, announced the news on Facebook on Wednesday.

“I’ve had to keep this a secret for months, but it’s finally out,” he wrote. “So incredibly emotional for me — not only to witness this historic moment, but also to be asked to be part of it. I’m humbled, honored, and elated.”

Blanco wrote and delivered the poem “One Today” for President Obama’s second inauguration. In a memoir released last September, “The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” Blanco tells his story as the son of immigrants and, in particular, his relationship with his Cuban grandmother.

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He told MSNBC that the poem he is writing for Friday reconciles his split loyalties and heritage between two countries, and he hopes it provides “an emotional place of reconciliation, a place of, perhaps, healing.”

 


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