Richard Blanco was the fifth inaugural poet, reading at the swearing-in of former President Barack Obama. In his latest book, "How To Love A Country," Blanco explores the power of democracy and the meaning of American identity, weaving examinations of dark periods in the nation’s history with a firm belief in hope.

Jim Braude sat down with Richard Blanco to hear about how his experiences as a young gay man from a working class, immigrant background shaped his poetry, and to hear a poem from Blanco’s new book.