Inaugural poet Richard Blanco just launched Bridges to/from Cuba, a writing project intended to lift what he calls Cuba’s “emotional embargo.” He and his co-creator, Ruth Behar, were prompted by what they feel is a distorted image of Cuba that has emerged in the wake of the recent, historic détente between the US and Cuba.
"I think what we want to do is broaden people's minds, both Cuban-Americans and Cubans on the island," Blanco said. "Giving them things to think about: How emotionally we move forward, and each other's responsibility to each other's stories and how we can merge those stories."
Blanco’s wonderful memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. It was recently chosen as Florida International University’s freshman common read.
Click here to see a video of Richard speaking about growing up between cultures at the 2015 FYE annual conference.