"Richard Blanco, a Cuban raised in the United States, records his threefold burdens: learning and adapting to American culture, translating for family and friends, and maintaining his own roots. . . . Blanco is already a mature, seasoned writer, and his powers of description and determination to get every nuance correct are evident from the first poem. . . . Absolutely essential for all libraries." --Library Journal "As one of the newer voices in Cuban-American poetry, Blanco write about the reality of an uprooted culture and how the poet binds the farthest regions of the world together through language. . . . This book describes the price of exile and extends beyond the shores of America and the imagined shores of home." --Bloomsbury Review "Unlike most contemporary minority poetry, City of a Hundred Fires, introduces readers to the fullness and richness of ethnic life, and not only the frustration and isolation so often associated with it. Richard Blanco exquisitely portrays the triumphs and defeats of a land and a people that have just barely survived revolution and time, and, without sentiment or cliche, affirms the ability within us all to achieve wholeness." --Indiana Review "Blanco is a fine young poet, and this poetry, the bread and wine of our language of exile, is pure delight. May he continue to produce such a heavenly mix of rhythm and image-these poems are more than gems, they are the truth not only about the Cuban-American experience, but of our collective experience in the United States, a beautiful land of gypsies." --Virgil Suarez Richard Blanco was, as he says, "made in Cuba, asssembled in Madrid, and imported to the United States," meaning he was conceived in Cuba, born in Madrid, and arrived in the United States as an infant able to claim citizenship in three different countries. His work has appeared in many journals, magazines, and anthologies, including the Nation, Michigan Quarterly, TriQuarterly, and Indiana Review. Blanco is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Florida International University and also works as a civil engineer.
About the Author
Richard Blanco was selected as the 2013 inaugural poet by 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 Looking for The Gulf Motel. 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.
Table of ContentsContents I América Teatro Martí La Revolución at Antonio’s Mercado Mango, Number 61 El Malibú Islamorada Crayons for Elena Mail for Mamá Los Santos of the Living Room Mother Picking Produce The Lesson Shaving Letter to El Flaco on His Birthday Hola 324 Mendoza Avenue, #6 What Las Palmas Mean: La Bella Dama of Little Havana A Note About Sake The Silver Sands Photo Shop Contemplations at the Virgin de la Caridad Cafetería, Inc. II Havanasis Varadero en Alba The Road to Rancho Luna Havana 50s El Jagua Resort Last Night in Havana El Juan Partial List: Guantánamo Detainees Found Letters from 1965: El Año de la Agricultura The Reservoir Abuela Valdés El Cucubano Zafra The Morning Kill Tía Olivia Serves Wallace Stevens a Cuban Egg Décima Guajira Postcard to W. C.Williams from Cienfuegos Palmita Mía Palmita Mía (translation) Acknowledgments / Agradecimientos
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
City of a Hundred Fires based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
These poems remind me of the roots I have left behind, while simultaneously, enabling me to understand the implications of transplantation. At once inspirational and utterly raw, Blanco uses the collective memories of all exiles to reach our hearts, where the true 'home' lies.
Richard Blanco, poet extraordinaire and Civil Engineer all in one. He dedicates this book to memories of his father. Based on his Cuban-American upbringing, he writes of his memories and experiences. He is able to laugh at what's funny about America from his perspective but through it all you feel a man that loves America. My favorite poems in this book were Crayons for Elena and Found Letters of 1965 but you will enjoy many others as well.