Montgomery County Public Libraries
For Immediate Release: 4/4/2013

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco to Speak at Rockville Memorial Library

Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC) and the Latino Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) History Project (LHP) will host an evening with Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco at the Rockville Memorial Library on Friday, May 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The library is located at 21 Maryland Ave. Blanco, the first Latino and the first openly gay poet laureate for the presidential inauguration, will present a program of readings.

When he was nearly two months old, Blanco’s family emigrated from Cuba to Spain, moved to New York City, and eventually settled in Florida where he was raised and educated. Blanco is the author of three books and a fourth, a bilingual triptych of poems submitted for the inauguration, to be released on May 6.

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro is honorary chair of the event and Mayor Jeffrey Z. Slavin of the Town of Somerset is chair. Event sponsors include Steven R. Snapp and Lawrence S. Jacobs, Tina M. Martin, Carol and Michael Leahy, Michael J. Bobbitt and Montgomery County Public Libraries.

“The Latino GLBT History Project is excited to partner with Friends of the Library, Montgomery County to bring Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco to the Rockville Memorial Library,” said LHP Latino Pride co-chair Wilmer Gutierrez. “His presence and memorable words shared during the second inauguration of President Barack Obama were monumental, and the Latino, immigrant and GLBT communities were proud to have one of their very own placed into the history books. LHP members look forward to hearing selections from his new book."

“FOLMC is committed to showcasing the literary talents and contributions that GLBT writers, poets and filmmakers have made to our community,” said Ari Z. Brooks, FOLMC Executive Director. For the past several years, FOLMC has funded the purchase of additional GLBT library resources and materials for Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). It is especially significant to have as our honorary chair, County Council President Nancy Navarro who made history when she was elected the first-ever Latina to serve as the president of a county council in Maryland.”

The cost for the poetry reading is $30 for an individual and $50 for a couple. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Sponsors are invited to attend a pre-event reception with Blanco.

For sponsorship information, to register to attend or to find out more about FOLMC call 240-777-0020 or visit For more information about LHP, visit

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Event contact: Ari Z. Brooks, 240-777-0020
Media contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507

Release ID: 13-098
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