Have you ever wondered what a rehearsal looks like? As New Surry Theatre prepares for their upcoming Directors' Festival, and in celebration of Word, they are opening a play rehearsal to the public! Join them Sunday, October 22, for an open rehearsal of Tennessee Williams' one-act "Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen". Watch director Robin Jones work with actors Bryan Lescord and Johannah Blackman as they dive into the meaning of this intriguing play and join them for a discussion afterwards. Free and open to all at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater.
Some Word authors will stick around for brunch on Sunday at Mainescape where YOU will have the opportunity to chat, get to know them more, and ask any lingering questions. Blue Hill Heritage Trust's Mountain Poetry Board will be presented and we'll have the official reading of the created-by-one-and-all Day-Long Word 2017 Poem.
Rumor has it Duncan Hamilton, owner of the Blue Hill Inn, will be making omelettes to order. You'll need to bring your appetite for eggs as well as for words.
Hear incredible spoken word performances from story-tellers, slam poets, actors, and more, featuring performances by Catherine Weiss, born and raised in Blue Hill and Grand Slam Champion of Northampton Poetry, and by Jude Lamb, a Down East area storyteller who specializes in stories from the viewpoint of women from Maine's past - some that history overlooked, and others that time forgot.
This event is free and open to the public.
BOB QUINN has been a fisherman, lighthouse keeper and operator of the Eagle Island mail boat, traveling to nearby islands, year-round on his 38-foot lobster boat, The Last Straw. He’s been caretaker for a dozen summer cottages on the Island as well as for houses on five other islands between North Haven and Deer Isle. The Quinns have owned Eagle Island for almost 200 years. He is at home entertaining an audience by recounting stories, reciting poems and prose inspired by life with his wife on the remote and tiny, island, which lies in Penobscot Bay. If someone were to drive a tractor the length of the island it would take around fifteen minutes. The Quinns first settled Eagle Island in the 19th century. Bob is a fifth generation islander. Of his more than seven decades on the water Bob quips, “It’s like walking or breathing. With time, it’s just what you know.”
STEVE PICKERING knows a great deal about crime, and that is the subject of his novel, Bad Moon Rising (2015). He knows of what he speaks (or writes). His twenty-eight year law enforcement career took him from patrolling Washington and Hancock counties, to detective, the joint DEA-Maine State Police Anti-Smuggling Task Force, Criminal Investigation Division III, to Sergeant and supervisor of the Bangor office of CID III. Pickering retired in 2006, began and continues his second career as a private investigator. But his third, successful career is writing. According to one critic, Pickering “has mastered the craft of writing fiction, and he’s particularly good with dialogue...masterful.” His novel, Bad Moon Rising is published by North Country Press in Unity. Pickering, who is currently working on his next novel, resides in Blue Hill, Maine with his wife, Betty; he has three sons, twelve grandchildren and a great grandchild.
JOHN DENNIS of the Eskasoni Mi’kmaq Nation is a tribal member of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. Dennis is a musician, storyteller, and drummer who offers songs, stories and teachings that he has learned throughout his life in order to help preserve and to pass on his knowledge to the youth of the Mi’kmaq and other Wabanaki Communities. He is a former Cultural Director for the Micmac tribe and is truly a keeper of tradition.
JUDE LAMB is a storyteller who delights in portraying historic Maine women. Her story performance of her fourth-great-grandmother, Eunice Lakeman Hoar, is based on a true family story passed down orally, then recorded in several small publications. She has taken the story to the next level by researching and fleshing out the people and the times, and performing their story while dressed in period clothing. This is part of Jude’s growing series of performances featuring historic Maine women, and is told through the eyes of Eunice.
Luther and Eunice Lakeman Hoar, and their children, were the first permanent settlers on what became Rangeley Lake. Jude first heard this story at the annual Lamb Family Reunions, as a child in the mid-1950s.
In 1817 Eunice and Luther walked the 20 miles, with their nine children (ages one to fourteen), from the valley below Rangeley, to what became Rangeley Lake. They hauled all their worldly possessions on moose sleds, up over the mountains, on the late winter snow. In the process the baby, who was bundled into the large family dough bowl and tied to the top of a loaded moose sled, went missing. They had crossed wolf tracks, and the journey would have been at night to take advantage of the frozen crust to haul their sleds. One can only imagine their frantic search!
Jude hopes that her story may inspire others to share their own family stories in creative ways. She holds a degree in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, and lives with her husband in an old Maine farmhouse in Lamoine.
AMY GRANT is best known to the Blue Hill area as owner of Peninsula Metamorphic Arts and Learning, Inc., a creative and educational resource for the rural communities of the Blue Hill Peninsula, and which offers a variety of classes, workshops, academic consulting and individual learning opportunities as well as theatrical performances so that residents and visitors to the Blue Hill Peninsula can have expanded access to quality, innovative, and affordable artistic and educational experiences. Most recently, theater artist Grant has written and performed an original piece entitled Wading In, a show about doing it anyway. Emmett Scott accompanies her. This is a spoken word and music piece that touches on many topics through the lens of doing the work that must be done - even when it's hard.
AMY ROEDER is the Director of Education at Penobscot Theatre Company where she has been seen in Doctor Cerberus, Calendar Girls, and August: Osage County. As part of her work at the theatre, Amy was privileged to collaborate with members of the Penobscot Nation on Transformer Tales: Stories of the Dawnland, a world premiere. She has also spearheaded Penobscot Theatre Company’s new corporate training program, using improvisation to help businesses develop a more agile workforce. Amy has also been a company member of Bar Harbor’s ImprovAcadia for thirteen seasons. She holds her BFA from the University of Evansville, her MFA from the University of Georgia and is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov acting technique. Amy is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Look for the union label!
CATHERINE WEISS was born and raised in Blue Hill. Catherine wants you to know she loves poems. And Lord of the Rings. And crying jags. Sometimes she loves them all at once. Catherine is known for her signature poetic mix of humor and heart, and definitely not for punching through walls like the Hulk when she doesn’t win a slam. Her work has been published in such journals as Voicemail Poems, Melancholy Hyperbole, Jersey Devil Press, Yellow Chair Review, and Gravel Mag. PS-Catherine lives in Western MA with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. Catherine also doesn’t know how to prioritize a bio.
Workshop with Deborah Joy Corey, author of Settling Twice.
Deborah Joy Corey believes that every life is composed of stories. Join her for a creative workshop that will serve as a starting point for each participant to shape a singular life story in writing, or to begin a longer piece with the goal of a completed memoir.
Through readings, prompts, and group discussions, Deborah will guide participants in finding their unique voice on the page. On completion of the workshop, each writer will have a solid foundation to continue working on their own.
Deborah Joy Corey is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Losing Eddie and The Skating Pond. Her many prize-winning short stories have been printed in numerous anthologies and writing textbooks. Her memoir, Settling Twice has recently been released in both Canada and the U.S..
Both beginning and experienced writers welcome. Registration is required and space is limited to 10 participants. Contact Blue Hill Books, 207/374-5632, 26 Pleasant Street, Blue Hill. They accept cash, checks, or credit cards for the $25 registration fee. More information can be found here.
Blue Hill's first ever poetry crawl will feature readings by six unique poets: Henry Finch, Mihku Paul, Beatrix Gates, Carl Little, Maine's Poet Laureate Stu Kestenbaum, and melissa christine goodrum.
Readings will take place sequentially at different venues throughout downtown. Start at the beginning or jump in at any point to hear some of Maine's finest poets read their own work, culminating in a closing performance with poetry and music with the local jazz talents of John Gallagher on bass and Danny Fisher-Lochhead on alto sax.
The full schedule can be found here. This event is free and open to the public.
Roosters crow, and you wake one morning in the green hills of Africa, sun lemon bright over eucalyptus trees full of doves...
What is a children's story based on? Come dress like the characters from the Sahara and learn about their camels and calls to prayer and the people from Africa around their fires of long ago. Join author and educator Kelly Cunnane as she takes us to Africa in words and clothes. This is a fun activity for kids of all ages.
As Kelly tells us, "During my teaching and travels, I've explored the Caribbean, Europe, South America, and China, but nowhere calls me like the continent of Africa.
I've been exploring and writing about East Africa since 1979, teaching in the Secondary School of a Kalenjin village, 9000 feet high on the Great Rift Valley. I have an MA in English with emphasis on Creative Nonfiction - which I published for many years in various anthologies and magazines (Down East, Christian Science Monitor, various anthologies, children's picture books with Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Heinemann International), all the while teaching K-8 art and culture, English at the high school and university, and writing in the community.
This event is free and open to the public.
“Can’t you write about something more pleasant?”
A group of young adult (YA) and middle-grades authors, Megan Blakemore, Ellen Booraem, Cindy Lord, and Maria Padian, will participate in a panel discussion on writing for young audiences and take audience questions.
MEGAN FRAZER BLAKEMORE is a school librarian as well as an author for children and young adults. Her middle grade novels include The Firefly Code (2016), The Friendship Riddle (2015), The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill (2014), a Maine Literary Award winner, and The Water Castle (2013), which was a Kirkus Best Children’s Book and won a Maine Library Association Lupine Award honor. Her books for young adults are Secrets of Truth & Beauty (2009) and Very in Pieces (2015). The Daybreak Bond (middle grade) and Good and Gone (young adult) are out this fall. Megan lives in Maine with her husband and two children as well as a cat and (sometimes) a hive of bees.
ELLEN BOORAEM, a native of Massachusetts, is a former Hancock County journalist and an award-winning fantasy author for young teens. Ellen is the author of The Unnameables (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults), Small Persons With Wings, and Texting the Underworld. All of Ellen’s books have, among other awards, been picked as Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews. In addition to being a writer, Ellen is also a mentor and a long-time volunteer writing coach. She lives in Brooklin with a cat, a dog, and an artist.
MARIA PADIAN is a young adult novelist whose titles include Brett McCarthy: Work in Process, Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, Out of Nowhere, and her most recent book, Wrecked. She is a three-time winner of both the Maine Literary Award for young people’s literature, and the Maine Library Association’s Lupine Award honor. Before devoting herself full-time to fiction she worked as a news reporter, congressional aide, radio essayist and freelance writer. These days, she takes breaks from the computer by playing with her Australian shepherd, texting her grown children, taking long walks along the beach or feeding logs into the woodstove. She lives with her family in Brunswick, Maine.
CYNTHIA LORD won a Newbery Honor and a Schneider Family Book Award for her first middle-grade novel, Rules (2006). Since then she has written three more middle-grade novels: Touch Blue (2010), Half a Chance (2014), and A Handful of Stars (2015). She is also the author of the Hot Rod Hamster series of picture books and early readers and the Shelter Pet Squad early reader series. Lord’s books have won one Maine Literary Award, a Maine Library Association Lupine Award and a Lupine Award honor, among many other accolades. A former teacher, she lives in Brunswick with her husband and two children.
This event is free and open to the public.
Led by students and staff of The Telling Room, this workshop invites its participants to answer this question: "If you only had one story to tell about what matters most to you, what would it be?" Start by positing your answer as a statement you could shout from the rooftops, and grow it into a story to share.
THE TELLING ROOM is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for our students. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success.
THE TELLING ROOM is a pioneer in youth publishing, and produces carefully edited, beautifully designed, and locally printed books of our students’ stories, poems, and personal narratives. Currently, we publish between 15-20 titles a year, and more than 30,000 Telling Room books are now in circulation. Since the printing of our first book a decade ago, in 2007, we have published more than 3,000 young authors in 125 anthologies, individual titles, and project “chapbooks," including Maine Literary Award-winner The Story I Want to Tell, and our newest release, by students in the national award-winning Young Writers & Leader's program, A Season for Building Houses.
This event is free and open to the public.
Book signings, word-related merchandise and swag, mini readings and workshops, delicious conversations, delicious food, and so much more.
Have you wondered if there are any good book groups in the area? Are you looking for a stack of books for Christmas giving? Have you wondered how to take your writing to the next level? Have you wondered where to eat lunch on Sat., Oct. 21? Do you want your copy of Motherless Brooklyn signed by Jonathan Lethem? Are you looking for a book bag to haul away your purchases?
All this and more, at the Literary Marketplace, American Legion Hall and First Congregational Church of Blue Hill.
Food (Jonathan Fisher Hall, Congregational Church)
Food will be available for sale all day in the marketplace, with lunch featuring El El Frijoles burritos. After the marketplace closes at 5 pm, the room will be transformed into a cafe, and dinner--chowder and chili for a suggested donation of $10--will be served at 6pm, directly following the poetry reading in the sanctuary upstairs.
Poets from the Poetry Crawl will be available to sign books at the Blue Hill Books table. At 7pm, everyone is invited upstairs again for Spoken Words!
Vendors (Jonathan Fisher Hall, Congregational Church)
∙ Blue Hill Books—works by all festival authors, who will be there at specified hours to sign them.
Signing schedule: 11 am, Kim Ridley; 11:30 am Cynthia Lord; 12:30 pm Jonathan Lethem; 1 pm Steve Pickering; 1:30 pm Deborah Joy Corey; 2:30 pm Megan Frazer Blakemore, Ellen Booraem, Maria Padian; 6-7 pm, all Poetry Crawl participants.
∙ Word will have its own table, where you can buy book-bags and clothing with the Word. logo, or design and print your own Word keepsake.
∙ The Telling Room, Portland— books written by students in the organization’s workshops for kids ages 6-18.
∙ Katie Greene, Brooklin—handcrafted books.
∙ Self-published authors will be there to sell and sign their books.
∙ Nonprofit organizations will hand out information and answer questions. They include: East Blue Hill Library, The Gatherings (Surry), The Harbor School (Blue Hill), The Millay House (Rockland), Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc., and community radio station WERU-FM (Orland).
Activities for all ages (Legion Hall)
∙ What does Blue Hill Mountain mean to you and your community? Tell us, in three words or less, on the Blue Hill Mountain Word Board, courtesy of Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
∙ We are poets! Write a line or two on the Day-Long Poem, set up with a Word volunteer to guide you.
∙ Dress up! Between 2-4 pm, local teacher, children’s book author, and world traveler Kelly Cunnane will offer an interactive workshop with African artifacts and clothing to make her books come alive. She’ll show you how to dress like one of her characters.
Readings and discussion (Dolly Fisher Room, Congregational Church)
∙ 10:30 a.m. Self-published author Paul Newlin will read from his book, The Adventures of Jack Armstron: The Not-Quite All-American Boy, followed by a discussion of the publishing difficulties faced by older writers.
∙ Noon. Peg Cruikshank will join Paul to continue the discussion of elder writers. Cruikshank is a retired women’s studies professor from the University of Maine and an associate of the university’s Cetner on Aging. She is the author of Fierce with Reality: Literature on Aging.
∙ 1 pm Generation shift! Open mic reading by young-adult poets, hosted by Blue Hill Harbor School Poets.
∙ 3:30 pm Lacey Leach, Blue Hill, will share her experiences writing and publishing her young-adult fantasy novel In My Brother’s Shadow.
Local science writer and children's book author Kim Ridley will hold a workshop for kids ages 8+ where they will make their own booklets of nature observations at Blue Hill Public Library, 10:00-10:45am.
Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, essayist, and award-winning author of nonfiction books for children. Her picture books, the Secret Pool (Kirkus starred review and Lupine Award, Maine Library Association) and the Secret Bay, received Riverby Awards from the John Burroughs Association for "outstanding natural history books for young people." Kim's new middle grade book, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot, will be published in November. A Maine native and avid naturalist, she lives in Brooklin with the painter Tom Curry and their elderly cat.
This event is free of charge and everyone 8+ is welcome.
The Friends of the Blue Hill Public Library will hold a special mid-month book sale on Saturday, October 21 from 9-2 in the basement Book Nook at the library in conjunction with the festival!
SPECIALS include 4 shelves of poetry (all 50-cents, this day only). They also have a special category of books that have to do with writers/writing (all $1), and some reference books that are really relevant to all types of writers (all $1).
There is also a 50-cent paperback sale on the library’s second floor, available during regular library hours.
The monthly book sales are organized by Blue Hill Library’s dedicated Friends of the Library volunteers and supported by very welcome donations from the community. Sale proceeds provide special programming and materials for the library and its patrons. To donate books that are in good condition (please no moldy or soiled books!) or for more information, contact the Library at 374-5515.
Workshop with radio producer and teacher Galen Koch.
Join The First Coast's founder and lead interviewer, Galen Koch, to learn techniques and tools for interviewing and preserving the stories of your family and community. Workshop attendees will spend time identifying a story or person they'd like to document, and receive training in the process of interviewing, recording, and sharing that story with the broader public. Through practice interviews and demonstrations, attendees will learn interviewing best practices and how to create a short audio postcard about your own family or community.
Galen Koch is an independent audio and multimedia producer based in Portland, Maine. She is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and her work has appeared on MPBN, NPR, BBC World Service, and Radiotopia's The Heart. For the past two years, Galen's work has focused on Maine's working waterfronts and coastal communities. In January 2016 she began renovating a 1976 Airstream trailer for a years-long documentary project, The First Coast, which aims to tell stories by Maine communities, for Maine communities.
This workshop requires a smart phone or personal laptop computer, so please come prepared. Registration is required and limited space is available. Contact Blue Hill Books, 207/374-5632, 26 Pleasant Street, Blue Hill. They accept cash, checks, or credit cards for the $25 registration fee. More information can be found here.
What does Blue Hill Mountain mean to you and your community?
Tell us in 3 words or less, on the Blue Hill Mountain Word Board
What words come to mind when you think about Blue Hill Mountain? Iconic, beautiful, misty, sacred, tall, blueberries?
As a part of the first Word Festival, Blue Hill Heritage Trust will have a large board and writing utensils available from 9am-7pm on Sat., Oct. 21 at the American Legion Hall on Tenney Hill. Community members of all ages are invited to share what the mountain means to them in three words or less. The board will be on display all day as well as at the "Brunch and Banter" on the 22nd at Mainescape, 10am-noon. Please help us create this tapestry of words, illustrating the role this important landmark plays in our community.
This activity is free and open to the public.
In an era noted for its highly charged politics, New York poet, teacher, editor, activist, and poet melissa christine goodrum is offering a workshop, “Speaking Out: Art as Political Resistance.”
“It is the poet’s job to honestly depict, narrate and reflect on the beliefs, dreams, tragedies, fears and great achievements of humanity,” Goodrum said recently. Participants will study contemporary poets such as Rosa Alcala, Tyehimba Jess and Tracy K. Smith to identify structures and poetic devices they can use to write their own political poems.
Recipient of a Zora Neale Hurston Award from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Goodrum has seen her poetry published in The New York Quarterly, The Torch, The Tiny, Rhapsoidia, canwehaveourballback?, Transmission, a chapbook by Other Rooms Press, and Bowery Women: Poems, an anthology. She teaches creative writing in the New York City public school system, and has performed and offered writing workshops in Blue Hill during the George Stevens Academy Arts Festival.
Registration required - limited to 12 participants. Contact Blue Hill Books, 207/374-5632, 26 Pleasant Street, Blue Hill. They accept cash, checks, or credit cards for the $25 registration fee. More information can be found here.
Join writers Jonathan Lethem and Laura Miller for a conversation on writing, and writing about writing, at the Bay School's Emlen Hall at 7 pm on Friday, October 20 to kick off the 2017 Word Festival.
Jonathan Lethem, novelist, essayist and short story writer, is a summer resident of Blue Hill and is best known for his 1999 novel Motherless Brooklyn. In 2005, he received a MacArthur Fellowship. His most recent book, More Alive and Less Lonely, is a collection of essays that celebrates a life spent in books, featuring new and previously unpublished material, including: impassioned appreciations of forgotten writers and overlooked books, razor-sharp critical essays, and personal accounts of his most extraordinary literary encounters and discoveries.
Laura Miller, a journalist and critic living in New York, is Books and Culture Columnist for Slate Magazine. She is a co-founder of Salon.com, where she worked for 20 years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Guardian and The New York Times Book Review, where she wrote the “Last Word” column. She is the author of The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia (Little, Brown, 2008) and editor of The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors (Penguin, 2000).
This event is free and open to the public.