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Richard Blanco to kick off Reinhardt University’s Etowah Valley MFA summer residency

By Erika Neldner

Reinhardt University will host Richard Blanco, the 2013 United States Inaugural Poet and memoirist, during its summer residency of the Etowah Valley Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Blanco will read and lecture July 6-7 on the main campus of Reinhardt University in Waleska.

“We are honored to host one of the premier poets in the nation. I heard him read last year at the Agnes Scott awards and he is a phenomenal speaker who enriches his work with rich references to Cuban history and culture,” said Dr. Donna Coffey Little, director of Reinhardt's Etowah Valley Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing.      

Blanco is the winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, the Maine Literary Award for Poetry, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, the International Latino Awards Winner and numerous other awards. He is the author of nine books, including “Looking for the Gulf Motel,” “Nowhere But Here,” “Directions to the Beach of the Dead” and “One Today,” his inaugural poem.

In its second year, Reinhardt’s Etowah Valley MFA summer residency program starts in earnest on July 6, at 7:30 p.m. with Blanco reading his poetry. A coffee and tea reception will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Bannister Glasshouse, with the poetry reading to follow at 8 p.m. An after party and a book signing will immediately follow the reading. The event is open to the public, as well as his lecture on Poetry and the Presidential Inauguration the following day at 10:30 a.m. in the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center.

All readings during the summer residency are open to the public. A schedule will be released at a later date.

Enrollment for the Etowah Valley MFA still is open. The deadline to apply is April 1. Visit


Richard Blanco

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