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Inaugural poet Richard Blanco uses new platform to push gay, immigration causes

So many things have changed for Richard Blanco since he was named the 2013 presidential inauguration poet.

Even poetry has changed for the Cuban-American.

Blanco, 45, found that his selection as the poet for President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony catapulted him onto a bigger stage. Not just on that day, but since then.

So Blanco is blending his art with activism, and availing himself of speaking engagements to heighten awareness about, and lend support to, issues that are special to him – like same-sex marriage and immigration reform.

“That moment opened up opportunities for me to speak about all these issues,” said Blanco, who lives in Maine with his partner of 12 years. “It’s an opportunity to tell our story, as the son of immigrants, a living example of these things. I’ve been speaking to groups, reading poetry in front of these groups, LGBT groups.”

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