That’s right, Richard Blanco, who performed at Obama’s second inauguration and became the fifth presidential inaugural poet, came to Union College! (*Insert screams here*) Blanco, at 44, became the first immigrant, Latino, and openly gay person to be named the inaugural poet. (And, if I’m not mistaken, the youngest, as well!) Previous inaugural poets have included Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

A pre-reading dinner and discussion was held in Beuth Minerva – For those of you who don’t know, the Minerva system is a cool little thing that is unique to Union College. Essentially all students and faculty are assigned to one of the seven houses (think: Harry Potter), and these houses serve as our homes away from home! They host events, discussions, games, bands, etc.! (Read more about the Minerva system here!)

Either way, I was able to attend the dinner and discussion and must say, it was really cool to have Mr. Blanco candidly speak to us and answer some of our questions before he gave a talk and performed his poetry for a larger audience (a.k.a. the rest of my college’s student body) in the Nott.

Mr. Blanco is a really personable, funny, easy going guy! At the end of the dinner, he even agreed to take a “selfy” with me! (Pictured below!)

Hearing Richard Blanco speak and recite poetry in the Nott was something beyond my wildest dreams! He’s an incredible poet (I plan on looking up/reading more of his work) and I was incredibly delighted to have been given the opportunity to meet and speak to him!

Good job, Union!