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Richard Blanco's poem for President Obama's second inauguration, "One Today," just came out as a children's book, with illustrations by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

Blanco is a poet and a civil engineer and says in the right brain/left brain equation, he uses both sides in equal measure. He recently spent some time with us talking about his own childhood. 

C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Maybe you're a college football fan. If you are, regardless of your team loyalty, you understand all that goes with fandom: the ecstasy of winning, the despair of losing and everything in between. You own a T-shirt or jersey or cap, at the least. You may even go as far as painting your face, maybe your whole body, to the games.

The University of Florida wants funding from the state legislature to expand a statewide book-sharing system it manages for all academic libraries. The book collection is known as FLARE—it stands for the Florida Academic Repository. UF is asking for about $19 million.

Courtesy

The Miami Book Fair International has announced some of the names in its lineup of authors. 

Punk poet Patti Smith will kick off the fair’s 32nd edition, which runs from Nov. 15-22 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. Smith will discuss her latest memoir “M Train” on Nov. 15 in MDC’s Chapman Conference Center.

How Well Do You Know Ernest Hemingway?

Jul 20, 2015
Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Key West was home to many famous American writers, but the most well known is Ernest Hemingway.

More than 50 years after his death, hundreds flock to the writer's old hometown near the end of July for the annual Hemingway Days festival. It begins Tuesday, July 21, on the 116th anniversary of his birthday.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

Geetha Balakrishnan grew up in what she calls a “very white Australia.”

“I’m grateful for my education, but there are certain things you can’t explore in an environment where you’re the only person, or very few of you are from different backgrounds,” she says.

VONA, Junot Diaz Writing Workshop, Moves To Miami

Jun 24, 2015
Maria Murriel / WLRN

"What happens if a writer of color wants to write about white supremacy?" asks Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who last year penned a New Yorker essay about the "unbearable too-whiteness" of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs. 

Diaz is co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) and the VONA/Voices workshop, which for 15 years has provided a "safe space" in the San Francisco Bay Area for writers of color.

Meg Cabot / Macmillan Publishing

Writer Meg Cabot is best known for the Princess Diaries series, made famous by two movies starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. But she quit writing that series in 2009, when Princess Mia graduated from high school.

Gustave Dore / Wikimedia Commons

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme...

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember...

-opening to "Don Quixote"

Anyone who’s grown up under communism can appreciate Cuban émigré Erisbel Tavio’s taste in books.

To survive totalitarian governments, and occasionally stand up to them, it helps to be a little insane. And there’s no more heroic nut in all of literature than Don Quixote, the protagonist of the classic novel of the same name by Spanish author Miguel Cervantes.

Key West's literary heritage is overwhelmingly associated with one writer: Ernest Hemingway. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winner's former home is a popular museum. And every summer there's a look-alike contest where white-bearded men compete to look like Papa.

But recently, the island has turned to celebrating another 20th-century writer who made Key West his home: Tennessee Williams. 

John Walther / Miami Herald staff

Much has been written about the close bonds forged between Jews and African-Americans in Miami in the 1950s at the start of the civil rights movement.  But a more complex, conflicted side of that relationship has fired the imagination of local novelist Joan Lipinsky Cochran.  

Phyllis Rose

Key West’s literary community was already gathered over the weekend for the annual Literary Seminar when they learned they had lost one of their own. Novelist Robert Stone died Saturday in Key West. He was 77.

www.martinamisweb.com

01/05/15 - Monday’s Topical Currents features our literary contributor, Ariel Gonzalez and an interview with acclaimed British author Martin Amis.  He’s the son of novelist Kingsley Amis—and has published more than 20 books since his days at Oxford.

Abhi Sharma / Flickr CC

As the year winds down, some of us find ourselves with some extra time off and maybe a little more time to read over the next few days. So we asked Miami Herald book editor Connie Ogle to tell us about some of her favorite books of 2014.

The Herald put together a top 10 list. Click here to see it.

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