Seattle Reads 2014: If You Like Richard Blanco's "For All of Us, One Today" -- Nonfiction
Annotation:In this set of 12 essays, Haitian immigrant Danticat asks: as a writer, if your native land has shaped your life and destiny, but you no longer belong there, how do you reconcile this conflict?
Annotation:Dobyns agrees with Blanco that writing poetry involves not only meditation, artistry and heart, but also technique, skill and careful editing. He offers examples of both art and craft from poets throughout history.
Annotation:Like Blanco, Foster questions what creates American identity, but he does it by tracing America’s nature through 25 of its most representative books. His carefully considered choices provide much food for thought.
Annotation:Garcia was 12 when his family migrated from Cuba—old enough to understand the conditions that made families give up everything in order to leave, and to appreciate the warmth and spirit that was left behind.
Annotation:This comprehensive look at the Latino experience in the United States relates not only history, but also the cultural and linguistic challenges faced by Latino immigrants of many origins.
Annotation:The title says it all; this account of a year in the life of a group of immigrant students in Brooklyn echoes the story Blanco tells, of the challenges and rewards of adjusting to a new homeland.
Annotation:Celebrated author Oscar Hijuelos, whose mother was a poet, explores how his New York City childhood, Cuban heritage and a difficult year-long stay in Cuba shaped his adulthood and his writing.
Annotation:As with poetry, well-chosen words such as the ones presented here can encapsulate and illuminate experiences and perspectives, connecting people and places. As Angela Davis said, “Walls turned sideways are bridges.” (pg. 252)
Annotation:Researched in real home kitchens and arranged by baking style rather than country, this book highlights the commonalities and basics of how immigrant bakers recall home.
Annotation:Blanco contributed a piece to this collection of essays in which gay writers present their inspirations—often other writers and artists, and sometimes their own fathers.
Annotation:Blanco tells of his experiences as 2013 inaugural poet, the fifth in history, the youngest, first immigrant, first Latino, first openly gay writer to hold the honor. He reveals the inspiration and challenges behind the creation of the poem, “One Today,” and reflects on his life-changing role as a public voice after the inauguration.
Annotation:Our librarians have compiled a list of poetry for further reading, so if you enjoy Richard Blanco's poetry, check out these other suggestions.
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Richard Blanco's "For All of Us, One Today" is the 2014 Seattle Reads selection. In addition to these reading suggestions, you can find the complete reading group guide here: http://goo.gl/B7VU4.