He was born in Madrid, Spain on February 15, 1968. His family had just left Cuba. Then the family went to New York. After that, they moved to Miami, Florida. He grew up there.
Blanco graduated from Florida International University in Civil Engineering in 1991. Then he got a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 1997.
After 1999, he traveled and lived in Guatemala, and Brazil. He taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Central Connecticut State University. Later, he returned to Miami and lived there. Now he lives in Maine. 
His work has appeared in some magazines. These are The Nation, Ploughshares, Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly Review, New England Review, and Americas Review.
- 1997 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for City of a Hundred Fires
- Florida Artist Fellowship
- 2006 PEN Open Book Award (formerly known as Beyond Margins Award) for Directions to the Beach of the Dead
- 1988 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
- John Ciardi Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference
- Residency Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
- "Last Lines; Mother Picking Produce; What Las Palmas Mean:; Last Night in Havana; Tia Olivia Serves Wallace Stevens a Cuban Egg". Beltway Poetry Quarterly 5 (1). Winter 2004. http://washingtonart.com/beltway/blanco.html.
- "Somewhere to Paris", Poetry Foundation
- City of a Hundred Fires. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0-8229-5683-9.
- Directions to the Beach of the Dead. University of Arizona Press. 2005. ISBN 978-0-8165-2479-2.
- Nowhere But Here. Hill-Stead Museum. 2004. ISBN 978-0-9744245-1-4.
- Michael Collier, ed. (2000). The Best American Poetry 2000. University Press of New England.
- David Lehman, ed. (April 2003). Great American Prose Poems. Scribner Book Company. ISBN 978-0-7432-4350-6.
- The Breadloaf Anthology of New American Poets. Bread Loaf Writers' Conference/Middlebury. March 1, 2000. ISBN 978-0-87451-964-8.
- Sienna M Potts: Siennese.com. "Poetry of Place, Home, and Identity". Richard Blanco. http://www.richard-blanco.com/. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "PEN American Center - Richard Blanco". Pen.org. 2006-10-16. http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/1332. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "HVWC - Richard Blanco and Terese Svoboda". Writerscenter.org. 2007-03-18. http://www.writerscenter.org/blancosvoboda.html. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Author Details". Pshares.org. http://www.pshares.org/authors/author-detail.cfm?authorID=6874. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- Richard Blanco: 2007 - Fellowship Recipients