Inaugural poet Richard Blanco, who was the first gay poet chosen to read at a presidential inauguration, has been selected to write an original work for the Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration event.
“Poetry has a unique way of galvanizing people together and getting at a deep truth that can heal,” Blanco told 429Magazine. “That’s what I hope to contribute to the concert through poetry.”
Blanco believes the concert is a “truly inspiring opportunity” as he strives to give voice to the millions of people across the nation who were affected, directly or indirectly, by the tragedy.
His previous piece, “One Today,” was praised as a representative piece portraying the American people at President Obama’s second inauguration. In “Boston Strong,” he hopes to provide comfort to “those that struggle to understand the inhumanity.”
“I try to zero in on the emotional center of a moment,” said Blanco. “In this case, not just the tragedy, but also the triumph, hope, and unity that came about as a result. In the process, I seek out those images, moments, and metaphors that can convey that emotional center.”
The Boston event will also showcase Carole King, New Kids on The Block, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Boston, The J Geils band, Extreme and Godsmack.
Proceeds from the event will benefit The One Fund. The One Fund aims to help improve the financial lives of the Boston bombing victims. Published through the University of Pittsburgh, the Chapbook of “Boston Strong” will have all the royalties donated by the victims of the bombings.
“Richard’s desire is to help the victims in any way he can, and for him, that vehicle for healing is his poetry,” said Blanco’s Manager Frank J. Cimler Jr. in a press release.
Comedians Steven Wright and Dane Cook will also contribute to the benefit concert.
“Nothing I write can undo the terrible pain and suffering so many have endured, but it is my hope that those affected, and our nation as a whole, will be able to take some form of solace through the power of poetry,” said Blanco in a press release.
The event will be held at Boston’s TD Bank Garden on May 30.