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“W. H. Auden, asked to define poetry from the other written arts, wrote that poetry was ‘memorable speech.’ Richard Blanco’s speech invites the reader in with its search for home. His lyrics open doors onto his Cuban immigrant family, his father’s early death, and his own migration from a life in Florida to a life in Maine. His speech houses a generous love of others and a persistent reach for what is absent. There is nothing here you will not remember.”
“Every poem in Looking for The Gulf Motel packs an emotional wallop and an intellectual caress. A virtuoso of art and craft who juggles the subjective and the objective beautifully, Blanco is at the height of his creative prowess and one of the best of the best poets writing today.”
“The poems in Looking for The Gulf Motel are bittersweet songs that ache with the ‘sweet and slow honey of a bolero.’ They croon about journeys from Cuba and Spain to Florida and Maine; mourn languages, lovers, and names that were or could have been; and praise the forgotten pop culture icons that expanded one young person’s view of his nationality and manhood. If all loss is like exile, Blanco tells us, then searching for love (in the self, in others) is healing, is finding home, because ‘love is thicker than any country.’”
The main thing about Blanco’s poems is how lyrical his voice is and how universal his themes, how easily we can relate to his concerns.”
"These are poems of poetic beauty and heart, confession and acceptance, courage and love. Wonderful."
Richard Blanco was selected as the 2013 inaugural poet for President Barack Obama. He is the author of two other poetry collections: Directions to The Beach of the Dead, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award; and City of a Hundred Fires, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Exploring themes of Latino identity and place, Blanco's poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2000 and Best American Prose Poems and have been featured on NPR. He is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, and has taught at Georgetown and American universities. A builder of cities and poems, Blanco is also a professional civil engineer.
This is a wonderful book of poetry. I decided to read one poem each day, but couldn't stick to that. I feel I know Cuba a little after his vivid descriptions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karen Schneider
Quality of the book was pretty good. It had more written notes in it than I expected. Overall, I'm glad I purchased it. The actual content of this book is spectacular!Published 2 months ago by Tamara Russell
I admit, hearing Richard Blanco read from this collection in a presentation/reading substantially increased my appreciation and enjoyment of this poetry. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peggy
These poems are just wonderful to read, growing up in Miami FL. I can feel his writing which has such emotion.Published 7 months ago by Alex H. Rothwell
I liked City of One Hundred Fires much more--though this one has a handful of quality poems near the frontPublished 12 months ago by eliot wilson
I chose this book of prose on the strength of his poem "We are one". My very favorite one in this book is "Betting on America" When I read Richard Blanco I am right... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Beck S.