Charleston County School of the Arts will host Richard Blanco, the fifth and youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as the first Latino, and first immigrant to hold the honor.
Blanco will offer a lecture and reading of his work 7-9 p.m. Wednesday in the Academic Magnet High School Lecture Hall on the Bonds Wilson Campus.
Blanco will answer questions and sign books following the reading. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
In addition to the public reading, Blanco will conduct writing workshops and lectures with SOA creative writing majors and AP English students.
Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents, Blanco and his family immigrated to New York City while he was an infant and then moved to Miami, Fla., where he grew up in a close-knit Cuban community. He published his first book of poetry, “City of a Hundred Fires,” in 1998. The book won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. His second book, “Directions to the Beach of the Dead” (2005) won the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center.
His next book, “Looking for the Gulf Motel,” was published in 2012, after he moved to Bethel, Maine. While he was living there, he was asked by President Barack Obama to serve as the fifth inaugural poet, following in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
His most recent book, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos,” published in September 2014, shares his story as a child of Cuban immigrants and his effort to understand and embrace his identity.
Bill Thompson, author of “Art and Craft” and former Post and Courier arts writer, film reviewer and book page editor, will sign copies of his book 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., Charleston.
“Art and Craft” is a collection of articles, essays and reviews Thompson wrote during his years at this newspaper. It’s published by University of South Carolina Press.
Clemson University’s David Jachowski, professor of wildlife ecology and a former biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was named one of four finalists for the Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize, administered by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska.
Jachowski’s “Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret” was cited for its scrutiny of the ecological, social and political efforts made to rescue the black-footed ferret, one of North America’s rarest mammals.
The Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize celebrates the most outstanding scholarship about the Great Plains during the past year. The winner of the $10,000 cash prize will be announced May 6.