Looking for the Gulf Motel

Looking for the Gulf Motel

Book - 2012
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Family continues to be a wellspring of inspiration and learning for Blanco. His third book of poetry, Looking for The Gulf Motel, is a genealogy of the heart, exploring how his family's emotion legacy has shaped--and continues shaping--his perspectives. The collection is presented in three movements, each one chronicling his understanding of a particular facet of life from childhood into adulthood. As a child born into the milieu of his Cuban exiled familia, the first movement delves into early questions of cultural identity and their evolution into his unrelenting sense of displacement and quest for the elusive meaning of home. The second, begins with poems peering back into family again, examining the blurred lines of gender, the frailty of his father-son relationship, and the intersection of his cultural and sexual identities as a Cuban-American gay man living in rural Maine. In the last movement, poems focused on his mother's life shaped by exile, his father's death, and the passing of a generation of relatives, all provide lessons about his own impermanence in the world and the permanence of loss. Looking for the Gulf Motel is looking for the beauty of that which we cannot hold onto, be it country, family, or love.

Publisher: Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780822962014
Branch Call Number: 811.54 B598L 2012
Characteristics: 83 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Before being selected as the 2013 inaugural poet, Blanco published three award-winning poetry collections that examine cultural identity. See also "Directions to the Beach of the Dead" and "City of a Hundred Fires."

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Jul 16, 2017

As the final element in a reading challenge, I needed a collection of poetry. Not sure where to start, I recalled the national poet laureate when Obama was inaugurated in 2008 was a Cuban American. A quick search turned up this evocative collection filled with stories of Blanco's childhood, and of his exiled extended family who dream of the land they loved and left. The poems are complete pictures of a time and place elegantly rendered.


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