WGBH News and Media Relations


September 8, 2017

Poet Richard Blanco Joins 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio as Contributor

Bimonthly “Village Voice” segment will explore current events through poetry


BOSTON, September 8, 2017 – Beginning Monday, September 11, former inaugural poet Richard Blanco will join 89.7 WGBH’s Boston Public Radio with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Blanco, the nation’s fifth inaugural poet, was selected to pen and read his poem “One Today” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Blanco’s new 20- to 25-minute segment, “Village Voice,” which will air twice a month on Mondays, uses poetry to ground the news of the day in the true-to-life experiences of real people, or what Blanco calls “another kind of news: the human or emotional news.”

“Poetry was born out of song, folklore and oral tradition—that’s why we collectively still turn to it as the ‘village voice’ during times of tragedy, triumph and turmoil,” said Blanco. “The spike in poetry in our socio-politically charged time is but one recent example of how poetry has historically served such a role. I’m excited to invite our Boston Public Radio listeners to experience poetry as that village voice as we go beyond mere ranting, beyond Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, beyond headlines and 24-hour news feeds.”

Each “Village Voice” segment will feature a poem, selected by Blanco and the Boston Public Radio team, that speaks to a current event, political issue, or some other  topic in the news. The poem will open a conversation that explores “news” in a more nuanced, human-centered way. Blanco will share his knowledge about the poem and poetry in connection to the news at hand, while Braude and Eagan will provide relevant context from the day’s current events.

"I must admit that I rarely read poetry. But when I do and a poem richly resonates, I have the same thought: why don't I?” said Eagan. “A brilliant poet and writer, Richard will be our guide to slow down, dig deep and truly savor some of the best and richest poetry around. I can't wait to learn from him."

"Long before he became the fifth inaugural poet, Richard was a one-of-a-kind voice on current events," said Braude. "We’re excited to explore the intersection of art and news with him a couple times a month.”

Boston Public Radio airs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT weekdays on 89.7 WGBH.


About WGBH News

WGBH News is among the fastest growing local news providers in greater Boston and draws on the talent of a multi-platform newsroom that includes 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR, television and digital reporting. The WGBH newsroom continues to invest in substantive local coverage and has established dedicated desks for innovation, higher education and politics as well as unique partnerships to expand on that commitment, including with WNYC’s The Takeaway, PRI’s The World, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and The GroundTruth Project.




WGBH Media Relations

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