NORWAY — Inaugural poet Richard Blanco will present a program of poetry, storytelling and life reflections on Friday, May 1. The reading, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Norway Memorial Library’s Lifelong Learning Fund and it will be held at the Second Congregational Church UCC at 205 Main St. in Norway.

Tickets are now available for purchase at the Norway Memorial Library and Books N Things in Norway for $10. The library will hold tickets to be picked up at the door of the event if they are paid for in advance. This can be done by sending a check to the library or by using a credit card at Books N Things.

Blanco was selected by the White House to be the fifth inaugural poet, following in the footsteps of Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander. At President Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 21, 2013, Blanco read the poem “One Today,” which he wrote for the occasion. In this poem he calls on Americans to draw together in all our diversity and reminds us that we are all unified under “one sun” and “one sky.”  Shortly after the inauguration, he wrote a reflection on his personal journey as the inaugural poet in a book published in 2013 called “For All of Us One Today.”

Blanco has resided in Bethel for the past few years where he has been active in the community. He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master of fine arts in creative writing. His memoir, “The Prince of Cocuyos,” about growing up in Miami, Fla., as a Cuban American, was published in 2014 by Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Blanco will sign copies of his books following his talk. Books will be made available for purchase by Book N Things at the event and leading up to the event at the bookstore, located at 430 Main St. in Norway.

The Richard Blanco program is the first in a projected series of special programs that will be supported by the Library’s Lifelong Learning Fund. Ticket sales will replenish the fund that aims to bring to the community special programs and projects that encourage people of all ages to explore ideas, expand horizons and discover and build connections for a lifetime of reading and learning.

For more information about this event call the Norway Memorial Library at 743-5309 ext. 1, check the library’s website at, or follow the event details on Facebook.

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