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Art Collaboration, Poetry Reading at UMaine Today

Contact: Steve Evans, 581- 3818

ORONO — The University of Maine Museum of Art and the English Department’s New Writing Series program have teamed up to present a poetry reading at 4:30 p.m. today by Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, in conjunction with an art exhibit by British-born painter and printmaker John Bailly.

The poetry reading, which is free and open to the public, is in Soderberg Auditorium in Jenness Hall. The art exhibit is at the UMaine Museum of Art in Bangor.

Blanco’s first book of poetry, City of a Hundred Fires, which explores the negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American, won the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1998. Blanco has since traveled and lived in Guatemala, Brazil, Connecticut, where he was assistant professor of creative writing and Latino literature, and Washington D.C., where he taught at Georgetown and American universities. He also is the author of a second book, Directions to the Beach of the Dead. Blanco’s poems have appeared in major literary journals and anthologies and he has been featured on National Public Radio.

His participation in the New Writing Series coincides with an exhibition of the work of John Bailly at the Museum of Art in Bangor. Frequent collaborators and friends from Miami, Bailly and Blanco will be doing several events together at the museum and on the UMaine Orono campus.

Bailly holds a master of fine arts from Yale School of Art. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Florida. He is fellow of the Honors College at Florida International University and recently was awarded the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship and a State of Florida Individual Artist Grant.

For general information, contact Steve Evans at 207-581-3818, or call the museum at 207-561-3350. For information about Blanco and Bailly’s collaboration, “A Place of Mind,” see their website.

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