Blue Hill Literary Arts Festival

Published: Oct. 18, 2018 at 9:02 AM EDT
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Sarah Pebworth and Rob McCall were in the TV5 studio this morning to tell us about the Blue Hill Literary Arts Festival.

The Festival begins this afternoon and goes until Sunday.

For more information, visit, call 374-5632 or email

They also have a Facebook event page.

Word. The Blue Hill Literary Arts Festival

In its second year, Blue Hill's festival offers events over four days. Details:, 374-5632, or

Thursday 10/18

Opening, Word.Art show of visual art using words. 4-7 p.m. poetry reading by Stuart Kestenbaum & Heidi Daub 5 pm, Cynthia Winings Gallery. Exhibit open Fri.-Sun., 2-4 p.m. Free.

Friday 10/19

Keynote: Abdi Nor Iftin in conversation with Brook Ewing Minner. 7-9 p.m., Emlen Hall, the Bay School. Free.

Saturday, 10/20

Youth Events: Flower Crowns with Bundy Boit & Deb Belyea, 9-10 a.m.; Draw-Along with Hazel Mitchell, 10-11 a.m., Blue Hill Public Library. Free.

Writing Workshop for all ages with The Telling Room. 11-noon, BHPL. Free

Adult/Teen Workshops: 9-11 a.m., The Ways of Biography, Baron Wormser; 12:30-3:30, The Words to Say It, Bea Gates; 1-4 p.m., Songwriting, Henry Finch; 1- 4 p.m., Autobiography to Fiction, Alice Lichtenstein. Fee, registration required: or 374-5632.

Poetry Crawl, downtown businesses. 1 p.m., Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Blue Hill Wine Shop; 1:50 Sarah Dickenson Snyder, Blue Hill Books; 2:40, Kristen Lindquist, Fairwinds Florist; 3:30 Candice Stover, Winings Gallery; 4:20 Elizabeth Tibbetts & 5 p.m. Baron Wormser, Congregational Church. Free.

Congo Café Festival Supper, Fisher Hall, Congregational Church, 6-7 p.m. Free.

Reading/Talk: Oisín Curran & Sarah Faber, 7-8:30 p.m., Congregational Church. Free.

Sunday 10/21

Books & Brunch, 10 a.m. -noon, Mainescape. Donation.

Words About Place, 1-2:30 p.m., panel with nature-writers Hans Carlson, Susan Hand Shetterly, Rob McCall, BHPL. Free.

Workshop: 1-3 p.m., Literary Dialogue, Oisín Curran. Fee, registration required: or 374-5632.

Workshop: 3-4 p.m. Writing About a Beloved Place, The Telling Room, BHPL. Free.

OpenWord., community open-mic for spoken word and music, 7-9 p.m., Peninsula Metamorphic Arts & Learning, 139 Mines Road. Doors and sign-up open 6 p.m. Spaces limited. Free.

Sarah Pebworth

Word founder, chair of steering committee

A former Blue Hill business owner, in 2017 Sarah Pebworth acted on a long-held dream to begin organizing a festival that would celebrate the community of readers and writers on the Blue Hill Peninsula and in Maine. Setting such a festival in late October, she thought, would have the added advantage of extending the "shoulder season" for Blue Hill businesses. (Hence Word's Poetry Crawl down Main Street.) Sarah put the Word committee together in the fall of 2016, and the festival debuted in October 2017.

Sarah first came to Maine in 1988 and lived on Deer Isle and in Sedgwick, working at Penobscot Bay Press newspapers (PBP), waitressing at the Left Bank (a café, restaurant, and music venue, now closed). She also was a substitute teacher and workedat Down East AIDS Network, "where I honed my public speaking skills talking about safe sex to merchant marines and rotary clubs… I did start my career as a teacher and always thought if a person can make grammar appealing to seventh graders, anything is possible."

Sarah left Maine in the mid 90s to pursue a masters in education and take on a "real" job, working for a teacher certification testing company. But she continued to vacation in Maine and in 2006 had the opportunity to return. She worked for PBP and at Goose Cove Lodge while she looked for her own bed and breakfast to purchase.

She bought the Blue Hill Inn in 2007. "Meeting the challenges of owning a small business, running a bed and breakfast and then a restaurant made this the best job I'd ever had," she says. "But by 2015, I had achieved my goals, big and small, there-adding a room, increasing revenue, replacing the wooden staircase with a lovely spiral one-and I sold the inn."

Sarah has served on the board of directors at the Blue Hill Chamber of Commerce and remains an active member. She is the board president at Blue Hill Public Library. She also is the Democratic candidate for House District 133.

Rob McCall

Panelist, Words About Place (nature writing)

Rob McCall is the voice behind Awanadjo Almanac, broadcast to Midcoast Maine since 1992 by WERU-FM and reproduced in print by a number of publications. His first book, Small Misty Mountain, was published in 2006 by Pushcart Press and is distributed by W.W. Norton. Publisher's Weekly called it "by turns inspiring and infuriating." His second book, Great Speckled Bird, followed in 2012. His writing has appeared in Yankee, Down East, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, Island Journal and elsewhere.

McCall has worked as an elementary school teacher, tree and landscape contractor, church sexton, orchard manager, chimney sweep, ambulance driver, and musician. He began his career as a preacher at age 40, and served as minister of the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill from 1986 to 2014.

His passions include wild plants and animals and traditional fiddle tunes. Married for 50 years to artist and singer Rebecca Haley, he is the father of two and grandfather of two.