Richard Blanco, the Winter Park Writers Festival speaker previously mentioned in this newsletter, is a presidential inauguration poet, award-winning author, memoirist, public speaker, a Cuban exile, civil engineer, and someone who grew up and was educated in Miami.His poetry has always harkened back to his youth, his upbringing, his sexuality, and his Cuban heritage.
However, in his first memoir, The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, Blanco explores those themes in depth. He describes his time at El Cocuyito (The Little Firefly), the grocery store where he worked. He describes the fear he felt coming to terms with his sexuality and his feeling of being a cultural outsider.
Read more about Blanco and The Prince of Los Cocuyos in this terrific 2014 BookPage interview in which Blanco discusses his experience writing memoir versus poetry, describes his difficult relationship with his grandmother, and relates how his story of “becoming” mirrors the larger story of America.