President Barack Obama invited Richard Blanco to write a poem to share at his second presidential inauguration.
That poem is One Today, a lush and lyrical, patriotic commemoration of America from dawn to dusk and from coast to coast.
Brought to life here by beloved, award-winning artist Dav Pilkey, One Today is a tribute to a nation where the extraordinary happens every single day.
“Matters of the Sea is one of the most emotionally complex and personal poems I’ve ever written, invested with all my love for the people of two countries that are part of my very being. As with the presidential inauguration in 2013, I am once again humbled and honored to participate as a poet in another historic moment of such significance. I’m elated by the power of poetry to mark such important, communal moments and to be a catalyst for change and understanding by reaching deep into our emotional selves and connecting us to our shared humanity.”—Richard Blanco
The net proceeds from the sale of this book benefit The One Fund Boston.
The One Fund Boston was established through the generosity of businesses, foundations, and individual donors. The Victim Relief Fund of The One Fund Boston will be used to assist those families of the victims who were killed and the victims who were most seriously affected as a result of the tragic events during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and related events on April 18 and April 19.
Richard Blanco’s childhood and adolescence were experienced between two imaginary worlds: his parents’ nostalgic world of 1950s Cuba and his imagined America, the country he saw on reruns of The Brady Bunch and Leave it to Beaver—an “exotic” life he yearned for as much as he yearned to see “la patria.”
Navigating these worlds eventually led Blanco to question his cultural identity through words; in turn, his vision as a writer—as an artist—prompted the courage to accept himself as a gay man. In this moving, contemplative memoir, the 2013 inaugural poet traces his poignant, often hilarious, and quintessentially American coming-of-age and the people who influenced him.
A prismatic and lyrical narrative rich with the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of Miami, Richard Blanco’s personal narrative is a resonant account of how he discovered his authentic self and ultimately, a deeper understanding of what it means to be American. His is a singular yet universal story that beautifully illuminates the experience of “becoming;” how we are shaped by experiences, memories, and our complex stories: the humor, love, yearning, and tenderness that define a life.