by Richard Blanco
Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I? These are the universal questions that have emerged from Richard Blanco's illuminating, story-rich poetry. Now Blanco explores these questions in this vivid account of his coming of age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his effort to contend with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. These are the stories of that shy yet precocious boy, known as Riqui to his family, who would grow up to be Richard Blanco, acclaimed as the first Latino and first openly gay presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history.
Blanco grew up in the grip of two imaginary worlds: the Cuba of the 1950s that his family longed for and Blanco's idealized America, which seemed to exist outside the boundaries of Cuban Miami. The America of his fantasies from TV shows like The Brady Bunch offered a life just as "exotic" as the island paradise that was his birthright. The Prince of los Cocuyos evokes the complexities and glories—and humor—of navigating these worlds and the awakening of Riqui's homosexuality and artist's soul.
Coloring books and pig roasts, opera and mambo, Easy Cheese and pork rinds—Riqui negotiates these contradictions and more. His abuela, a bookie, tries to make him un hombre, driving both his sexuality and his artistic inclinations deep into the closet; his first Thanksgiving turkey dinner ends with relatives in a conga line; his suburban backyard is transformed by his abuelo into a veritable farm with chickens and rabbits; and his mother decides to pack toilet paper and a pistol for his childhood pilgrimage to "the promised land" of Walt Disney World.
The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood
Richard Blanco was born in Madrid in 1968 and immigrated as an infant with his Cuban-exile family to New York, then Miami, where he was raised and educated, earning a BS in civil engineering and an MFA in creative writing.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 9/30/2014
- Biography & Autobiography | Literary - LGBT
- Cultural Heritage - Aspects (Academic) | Life Writings
- Sex & Gender | Gay - Locality | Miami, Florida
- Cultural Region | South Atlantic - Southeast U.S.