Richard Blanco on Beyoncé, Gloria Estefan, and Life After the Inauguration

Richard Blanco is tired. Sitting in the lobby of the Adrienne Arsht Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House, where he'll take the stage tomorrow in a free reading, he apologizes for his gravelly voice, strained after a long day of media appearances and interviews like this one.

"I'm starting to feel a little bit weary, doing this, doing that," he laughs. "Following my mother's example, I'm just one of those people who can't say no. So I'm starting to learn that I can't be in three places at one time, stuff I never really had to negotiate."

It's an overwhelming feeling that most poets don't get to experience, he admits. But then again, most poets don't get hand-selected by the White House. Most poets don't share their stages with Beyoncé. Most poets don't get to read their work in front of an entire nation. Richard Blanco is not most poets.

See also:
- Miami Poet Richard Blanco Chosen as the 2013 Inaugural Poet for President Obama

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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle