When Richard Blanco read his inaugural poem, One Today, one of the friends cheering him from afar was South Florida painter John Bailly.
Bailly and Blanco met nearly 20 years ago and bonded over a shared interest in cultural identity. The conversations between friends led to Place of Mind, a collaboration of paintings and poems that has been on display in South Florida and is now on its way to New York.
Bailly spoke to WLRN about culture, identity and working with Blanco to create the collection of images.
From the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Old School Square in Delray Beach, poetry class is in session.
Today, 44-year-old Richard Blanco, the Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants, becomes the fifth poet ever to take part in a President's inaugural ceremony. Blanco is scheduled to read an original poem after President Obama is sworn in for his second term.
As a child, Aaron Lebos was given a choice of two musical instruments: piano or violin. He chose the piano and spent the next six years dedicated to the instrument, winning five state-wide competitions.
But at the age of 11, he picked up the guitar.
More than a decade later he's still strumming it.
You can hear Aaron’s music in this week’s WLRN story "Piñata," a work of fiction by Jeremy Glazer. You can listen to "Rita" and "Pravda" below:
When Richard Blanco takes the stage Monday at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, the poetry community of South Florida will be paying especially close attention.
Blanco was born to Cuban parents in Spain. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Miami when Blanco was a toddler. He trained to be a civil engineer but a class at Florida International University later launched his poetry career.
Blanco's poetry is full of images from a childhood in South Florida and a Cuban-American household.