Richard Blanco Says ~ A Poem of Redaction ~



Richard Blanco Says
~ A Poem of Redaction ~


Writing a poem
All our lives,
Central to obsession…

Leaving home
To love a country
As if you’ve lost one;
It is where you choose to die
That is your country.

Human drive to find
The perfect home,
Myths in literature
Of Utopia, the perfect place:
Avalon, Shangri-La, the Promised Land.

Home is a slippery word
Like a cake decoration.
Should be nothing here
I don’t remember.

Only the waves keeping time
To their life in Cuba;
To pretend, to pretend
That nothing I’ve lost
Is Lost.

I was home all along,
Ready to read this poem;
That this is our story.
We each add a chapter
Still being written
About our country.

Speak silently to my heart:
Here is your country;
This is your story;
Here your home;
Our ground;
Our sky.

One deep breath,
Then another.

This is for all of us
Like rainbows begging for praise
For us today.

The doors we open for each
Other all day
Without prejudice,
Tired from work,
Giving thanks for love
That loves you back,
But couldn’t give you
What you wanted:
Always home;
Always one moon
Of one country,
Facing the stars of hope,
Of one constellation
Waiting for us, together
To come and sit at the table.

Why can’t we have poets
On billboards in America?
Why God?

But really…
We all think the same thing,
But no one says:
Will mother come to visit us?

But God, listen to this:
I will keep counting
Until I’m somebody
And then I will say,
I forgive you.

I want the poem to be a mirror,
Transforming the personal
Into Art, using the personal
To reach the universal.

Whatever the Art demands
I have to do:
To be grand,
But not grandiose—
Those scars of exile,
Being in exile of exile.



This poem is a redaction from a Reading and Speaking Session Richard Blanco gave at City University of Hong Kong on July 21, 2014.






b2 b3 b4
b6 b7



6:30 – 8:30 p.m., July 21, 2014 (Monday)
M3090, Level 3, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong

Distinguished visiting writer Richard Blanco
will give a reading and speak in conversation with writer-in-residence Xu Xi

Reception & book signing follows

CityU 30th anniversary Year of Global Literary Expression event

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco’s books will be sold at the event by Paddyfield

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco ( ) was “made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, imported to the U.S.” He served as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States for President Obama’s second inauguration in 2012, at which he read the poem “One Today.” Blanco was the first Latino, immigrant and gay writer, as well as the youngest, accorded this honor. His books of poetry are Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005) and City of a Hundred Fires (1998) which received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, and which one critic calls “the most exciting first book of the decade – vibrant and diverse, infused with energy and formal dexterity, equally at ease in Spanish and English.” Recent works include Boston Strong (2013), a commemorative chapbook that reproduces his poignant poem presented at the Boston Strong Concert, following the tragic events in April that year at the Boston Marathon. His most recent book is nonfiction, For All of Us, One Today (2013), which describes his journey as the inaugural poet. Blanco holds a MFA from Florida International University, and has taught at Central Connecticut University as well as several other universities. He was named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at Maclester College which awarded him an honorary doctorate. Blanco is also an engineer who has designed several town revitalization projects.



Vanity of Vanities by CG Fewston



CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.

CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists, such as Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).

Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments LiteraryArts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary MagazinePrachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s DrawerMoonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”

You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at &

[ File # csp13641219, License # 2590673 ]Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement ( Can Stock Photo Inc. / andreykuzmin

A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…

Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…

Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…

A_Time_to_Love_in_Tehran gold medal


“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”

Kirkus Reviews 

“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”



CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,

A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —

10 years to the day of the publication

of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)


“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary

is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,

as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.

Ending and beginning again,

like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,

like the four seasons.”

found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5


cg and axton 2015



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