American poet Richard Blanco (left) and Brooklin pianist Paul Sullivan will debut an original performance piece at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, as part of the 2019 Word literary arts festival. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RICHARD BLANCO AND PAUL SULLIVAN

The Word is…



BLUE HILL — Award-winning Bethel poet Richard Blanco, who achieved national fame reading his poem “One Today” at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, and Grammy Award-winning jazz/classical pianist and composer Paul Sullivan will debut an original joint work next month at the 2019 Word literary arts festival.

Blanco, an author, memoirist and civil engineer, whose latest poetry collection “How to Love a Country” came out earlier this year, and Sullivan explore their immigrant roots — Sullivan’s Irish heritage, Blanco’s from Cuba — in a performance piece.

Sullivan, who composed Opera House Arts’ stage musical “Ferryman,” says the piece “will share some insights into homeland, origins, differences and commonalities among us all.”

In its third year, Word’s organizers commissioned the piece for the festival of literary conversations, performances, and workshops, scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 24-27, in Blue Hill.

Blanco and Sullivan are slated to perform at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, at Emlen Hall. The event will include song, improvisation and readings.

Word 2019 is funded by the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more info, visit wordfestival.org.

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