The announcement that a Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants has been chosen as the inaugural poet for President Obama's swearing-in ceremony is causing a stir throughout South Florida. And nowhere more than in our region's literary community.
In 1993, a young civil engineer named Richard Blanco wanted to try his hand at writing poetry. So he took a class at Florida International University, led by English Professor Campbell McGrath.
"This is a work of fiction," cautions the introduction to poet C.M. Clark's latest book, "Charles Deering Forecasts the Weather & Other Poems."
Whatever would Charles Deering say? If there's one person who can at least guess, it's Clark. She was the very first Literary Artist-in-Residence for the Deering Estate, which stands alongside the Biltmore Hotel and Vizcaya as one of Miami-Dade's historical gems. The estate was built in 1916 by Deering, a wealthy industrialist, and once housed one of the most extensive art collections in our region.
Perhaps more than anyone else, writers understand the need for a safe place to pursue their craft. Unfortunately, in some countries a poem or an essay can lead to persecution, arrest, or worse. Find out how writers like Russell Banks, Salman Rushdie and