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Senator Collins Congratulates National Humanities Medal Winner Richard Blanco of Bethel

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins issued the following statement congratulating award-winning Maine poet, author, professor, and public speaker Richard Blanco on receiving a National Humanities Medal from President Biden on Tuesday during a ceremony at the White House:

“Congratulations to Maine poet and author Richard Blanco, who received the National Humanities Medal at the White House today,” said Senator Collins. “This prestigious award recognizes Richard’s powerful, inspiring writings and the important contributions he has made to his community in Bethel, to our state, and to communities across our country.”

Mr. Blanco, a son of Cuban immigrants, was born in Madrid and grew up in New York City and Miami.  He moved to Bethel 15 years ago.  In 2013, for President Obama’s second inauguration, he read an original poem that he wrote. 

The National Humanities Medal, which was created in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened Americans’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities.

Some of the other recipients of the National Humanities Medal today included Mindy Kaling, Bruce Springsteen, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gladys Knight, and Vera Wang.