He will be the first Latino poet, and the first openly gay man given the honor of reading at a presidential inauguration.
“Richard’s writing will be wonderfully fitting for an inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nation’s great diversity,” Obama said in a statement.
Blanco arrived in the U.S. when he was a few months old and was raised in Miami. He’s a civil engineer who’s been writing poems for two decades but only recently dedicated himself to writing full time. He now lives with his partner in Bethel, Maine.