Journey to the Beach of the Dead by Richard Blanco

Issue #101
Winter 2006-07

Journey to the Beach of the Dead, poems by Richard Blanco (Arizona): The speaker of Richard Blanco’s second book serves as both tourist and guide to the reader throughout the relentless and far-flung journeying the poems undertake. Moving from otherness to origin, Blanco pulls away from such locales as Italy and Guatemala to reenter his own history as a Cuban-American boy growing up in Miami by recalling, with great tenderness, the antics of his stubborn and quite humorous abuela, among other family members. Despite his wide-varying subject matter, this is essentially a book of love poems: the speaker’s observations, while so often movingly nostalgic, are always wise enough to ring true. —Cate Marvin