An Evening with Richard Blanco in Coral Gables, FL

An Instagram story photo featuring from left to right: Elisa New, Richard Blanco, Nely Galán, and Mitchell Kaplan. The location is tagged as the Sanctuary of the Arts.
From left: Elisa New, Richard Blanco, Nely Galán, and Mitchell Kaplan.

On Friday, March 11th, 2022, the independent Miami bookshop Books and Books hosted a screening of our episode on Richard Blanco’s “Looking for The Gulf Motel,” atSanctuary of the Arts in Coral Gables, Florida. The sold-out screening was followed by a fascinating discussion and audience Q&A with Blanco, Elisa New, and entrepreneur Nely Galán, as well as a reading and book signing with Blanco.

A speaker holding a microphone and wearing a white-collared shirt and black slacks stands on top of a stage overlooking a crowd, introducing Richard Blanco at his event.

It was an honor to bring our episode to the Coral Gables community, and hear first-hand how Miami locals respond to Blanco’s poem. The screening featured Spanish-language subtitles translated by Alyson Esther del Piño, with poem translation by Eduardo Aparicio. 

Richard Blanco, wearing a suit, stands while speaking

Sanctuary of the Arts director Rafi Maldonado-Lopez graciously hosted us in a beautiful renovated chapel in the center of Coral Gables, while Sanctuary staff members Clayton de Oliveira and Gaby Yero expertly handled tech, A/V, and all the night’s logistics. Books and Books founder Mitchell Kaplan welcomed guests, and producer Cristina Nosti and her team promoted and facilitated the evening, with remote support from Geraldine Joseph and Brie Martin.

Richard Blanco and Nely Galán pose together and smile

Our friends at South Florida PBS distributed gift bags to guests, while local videographer Hugo Media generously filmed the event and cut the video below.

Video credit: Hugo J. Quizhpi (Instagram: / @mediapoets).

Following the screening, guests ambled down the block to the Books and Books courtyard to eat arroz con pollo—as described at length in Blanco’s toothsome poem—and some light refreshments.