OCUReads at Oklahoma City University


The Prince of Los Cucoyos The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

  by Richard Blanco


Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I? These are universal questions that have emerged from Richard Blanco's illuminating, story-rich poetry. Now Blanco explores these questions in his vivid account of his coming of age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his efforts 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.

"A work that is incredibly poignant at one moment, yet hysterically funny with the turn of a page." --Huffington Post


Richard BlancoSelected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco joined the ranks of such luminary poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. The youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role, he read his inaugural poem, “One Today,” at the official ceremony.

Blanco was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States—meaning that his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid, where he was born. Only forty-five days later the family immigrated once more and settled in Miami, where he was raised and educated. The negotiation of cultural Richard Blanco Childhoodidentity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his body of work.

His literary awards include the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center, the Paterson Poetry Prize, two Maine Literary awards in poetry and memoir, and a 2015 Lambda Literary Award.

A builder of cities as well as poems, Blanco holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.F.A in Creative Writing. He is a Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, and has received honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College, and the University of Rhode Island. He has taught at Central Connecticut State University, Georgetown University, and American University. The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador in 2015. Blanco splits his time between Bethel, ME and Boston, MA.

OCUReads MUSINGS Creative Competition

MUSINGS … Creative reflections on The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco

OCUReads is new students’ first opportunity to engage with the community of scholars that is central to the OCU experience. In August, as part of Stars Week: New Student Orientation, first-year students will participate in a series of discussions and activities providing a deeper appreciation of The Prince of Los Cocuyos.

 All incoming freshmen are encouraged to participate in MUSINGS …

Creative Reflections on The Prince of Los Cocuyos. IDENTITY, NATIONALITY and FAMILY describe key elements in Blanco's compelling story.

Students are invited to respond to these themes in the format of their choice. Students may select from the following categories:


Essay • Poetry • Short Story    


Visual Art (2 or 3D) • Photography • Dance • Music

LETTERS entries: Must be submitted by email as a Word attachment, by mail, or in person.

ARTS entries: Performance Arts must be submitted on DVD. Visual Arts entries must be submitted in a form ready to exhibit, i.e. mounted for display, fully assembled, etc.

All entries may either be posted on the OCUReads web page and/or displayed during the author’s visit. 

Cash Prizes will be awarded:


1st Place: $250.00
2nd Place: $150.00
3rd Place: $100.00


1st Place: $250.00
2nd Place: $150.00
3rd Place: $100.00

Each winner will also be invited to attend dinner with the author, Eboo Patel, Thursday, August 20th.

Submission Guidelines

Please include your name, phone number, email address, hometown and major.

You may submit your entry by mail, in person or by email to:

First-Year Experience
Attn: Colbi Beam
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106


subject: OCUReads MUSINGS

Any questions? Please call 405.208.5255

Deadline: Wednesday, July 27, 2016