President Obama has picked poet Richard Blanco to recite his verses before the nation at the President’s second term inauguration. But before Blanco made the plunge to write full-time, he was an Engineer, the New York Times reports.
“Like many immigrant families, Mr. Blanco’s parents wanted a better life for their son. “The business was survival,” he said. He was instructed that he had three career choices: doctor, lawyer or engineer.” But in his 20s, the Cuban-American wordsmith, now 44, made the move to get his Masters of Fine Arts.
But even after snagging the 1997 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, getting his first book-length collection of poems, and nabbing teaching gigs, the poet had to keep his day job. “Only recently did he give up engineering to write full time,” the Times clarifies.
To those of us holding down a job while trying to make a sustainable career of writing on the side: keep your head up. There is a light at the end of the long writer’s tunnel — and maybe even an inaugural date in our future.