Inaugural committee announces lunch menu, poet

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Blanco's poetry collections include Looking for The Gulf Motel, published in 2012, and Directions to The Beach of the Dead, which was awarded the PEN American Center Beyond Margins Award.

"I’m beside myself, bestowed with this great honor, brimming over with excitement, awe, and gratitude,” Blanco, 44, said in a statement. “In many ways, this is the very ‘stuff’ of the American Dream, which underlies so much of my work and my life’s story — America’s story, really. I am thrilled by the thought of coming together during this great occasion to celebrate our country and its people through the power of poetry.”

The inaugural planners also announced the menu for the inaugural luncheon, a traditional event in Statuary Hall that follows the swearing-in of the president and vice president. 

The luncheon will feature a three-course meal that opens with steamed lobster and New England chowder. Guests, including the president, Supreme Court and congressional leaders, will then enjoy hickory grilled bison with a wild huckleberry reduction and red potato horseradish as part of the main course. Apple pie, sour cream ice cream, and aged cheese and honey will follow as desert.

“Agriculture has always played a starring role in American culture and has been at the heart of our cuisine since the birth of our nation,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “This Inaugural luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach. I’m confident that Democrats, Republicans, and representatives from all three branches alike will enjoy these incredible dishes from all corners of our nation.”

Wines served during the luncheon will be from Schumer's home state of New York.

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