Combined News

BDN Reports on Increased Enrollment at UMaine

University of Maine News - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:41

The Bangor Daily News published an article on the University of Maine System’s recently released enrollment report. Despite system enrollment being down, the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Fort Kent have seen slight increases in enrollment, the article states. UMaine’s enrollment is now 11,286, up 0.3 percent from this time last year, according to the article.

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Brewer Shares Gubernatorial Race Predictions with Press Herald

University of Maine News - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:40

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about the Maine gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler. Brewer said he expects to see a close race between LePage and Michaud. “Right now, I would guess Michaud has an edge, but I wouldn’t be stunned if I woke up Wednesday to see LePage elected to a second term,” he said. Brewer also was quoted in a Kennebec Journal article about Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race between Republican Bruce Poliquin, Democrat Emily Cain and conservative independent Blaine Richardson. Brewer said Richardson, who is polling around 10 percent, could play a role in a close election. “If Blaine Richardson gets 5 percent or more [of the undecided voters], Bruce Poliquin can’t win,” he said.

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UMaine Beer Economic Impact Study Cited in Mainebiz Article

University of Maine News - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:39

An economic impact study on Maine’s craft beer industry that was commissioned by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and conducted by two University of Maine economics professors was referenced in the Mainebiz article, “Business is brewing: Craft beer’s national growth is reflected in Maine.” Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, said the study could be used to lobby for industry-friendly policies at the state level. According to the article, the study found the state’s 35 breweries are poised for major growth in the next few years; Maine breweries sold $92.6 million in beer in 2013 while employing 1,500 workers; and the Maine craft beer industry has an estimated $189 million in annual statewide economic impact.

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2015 Top Gun Showcase Winner to Receive $10,000, Foster’s Daily Democrat Reports

University of Maine News - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:35

The Foster’s Daily Democrat reported the University of Maine’s Target Technology Center and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) have announced the 2015 Top Gun Showcase Pitch Event winner will be awarded $10,000. In addition to the cash prize, Great Works Internet (GWI) will also contribute a one-year business services package, according to the article. The Top Gun entrepreneurship acceleration program is part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative.

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Ghost Brothers About to Thrill Maine Audiences

University of Maine News - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:34

A Southern supernatural musical written by Maine’s king of horror will begin its 2014 fall tour at the University of Maine.

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a haunting, gothic musical set in Mississippi and penned by best-selling author and UMaine alumnus Stephen King, will be presented Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Collins Center for the Arts.

King, who has won hundreds of writing awards, including an O. Henry Award and the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, co-conspired with two other legends — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and Grammy Award-winning T Bone Burnett — to create the tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge.

Mellencamp created the music and lyrics and Burnett provided musical direction for Ghost Brothers, which has an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band. Billy Burke (“Twilight Saga,” “Ladder 49,” “Along Came a Spider,” “24,” “Monk,” “The Closer” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and Gina Gershon (“Pretty in Pink,” “Cocktail,” “Showgirls,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Ugly Betty”) play the lead roles of Joe McCandless and Monique McCandless, respectively.

In the musical, Joe McCandless reflects on a 1967 tragedy in which his two brothers fought over a girl, which resulted in the deaths of all three. In 2007, McCandless witnesses a familiar scenario playing out between his two sons so they travel to the family cabin in Darkland County, Mississippi, where he shares with his boys the story about his brothers.

Prior to the Saturday night performance, Fogler Library will be the site of a sold-out gala reception at 5 p.m. and a Southern-inspired dinner at 6 p.m. King is expected to deliver remarks at the gala. Fogler Library is where King met Tabitha Spruce when they were students at the university; they married in 1971.

The curtain rises on Ghost Brothers at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, visit the CCA website or call 207.581.1755.

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Media Report on Question 2, Proposed Pest Lab

University of Maine News - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:37

Question 2 on the Maine ballot was mentioned in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland Press Herald. The bond would give $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. John Rebar, executive director of UMaine Extension, and Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with UMaine Extension, spoke with MPBN about the importance of building a biosecure lab. Dill also spoke about bed bugs for the Press Herald article. Question 2 also was included in an Associated Press article about all six bond proposals Maine voters will be faced with. The Kansas City Star, Seacoast Online and Charlotte Observer carried the AP report.

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MPBN, Press Herald Speak with Brewer Days Before Election

University of Maine News - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:36

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland Press Herald days before Election Day. MPBN interviewed Brewer for the report, “Ebola: An October surprise in the Maine governor’s race?” Brewer said the way Gov. Paul LePage handled the Kaci Hickox case could have an effect on the race. “Gov. LePage going out front, seeking a court order, saying we want this quarantine where I am looking out for the health of Mainers and nurse Hickox is potentially — I don’t want to call it a game changer — but do I think it is going to have an impact in these last few days of the race? I think, absolutely, it will,” Brewer said. The Press Herald spoke with Brewer about the 2nd District race between Democrat Emily Cain and Republican Bruce Poliquin. Brewer said Poliquin’s ads and debate strategy have been “bumping up against the line” of being too negative, according to the article. “Even with the way that the president’s viewed, I think that voters in the 2nd District are going to go for Cain,” he said.

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Write Tech, Write Now! Conference Nov. 7

University of Maine News - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:34

The Maine Writing Project, along with the Southern Maine Writing Project, is sponsoring the National Writing Projects of Maine’s 2014 fall conference, “Write Tech, Write Now!” on Friday, Nov. 7.

The conference will be held 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Richard Randall Student Center at the University of Maine in Augusta.

Participants will explore digital writing choices for the 21st century with more than 18 workshops. Troy Hicks, an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University and a nationally respected authority on digital writing and technology integration, will deliver the keynote, “Mixing Sources, Amplifying Voices: Crafting Writing in an Information Age.”

The Maine Writing Project is a site of theNational Writing Project and issupported by the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. The group works to enhance the learning and writing of Maine students and teachers.

More information about the conference, including registration is online.

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International Exhibition at IMRC Through Nov. 15

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:42

De.fragmentation, an exhibition featuring the works of 26 individual artists and groups from Europe, Asia and the United States/Maine, is open through Nov. 15 at IMRC, Stewart Commons. Sponsored in part by the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, the exhibition was organized by IMRC’s recent Researchers in Residence — the group BridA — Tom Kersevan, Sendi Mango and Jurij Pavlica.

Other participating artists: Sheridan Kelley Adams; Pamela Barberi; Primoz Bizjak; Mark Durkan and Eilis McDonald; Florian Grond; Joakim Hansson; Reese Inman; Kensuke Koike; Marotta&Russo; Anja Medved; Irena Pivka, Brane Zorman/radioCona; Arjan Pregl; Project59 (Irina Danilova, Hiram Levy, Dan Tulovsky); Marcin Ramocki; Martin Romeo; Christian Rupp; Lena Lieselotte Schuster; Saso Sedlaček; Owen Smith; Maja Smrekar; Bogdan Soban; Abby Stiers, Alexander Gross, Isabelle Pelissier; Igor Stromajer; and Miha Tursič, Spela Petrič and Maja Murnik.

BridA/Tom Kersevan, Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica formed as a group in 1996 during studies at Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. With its heterogeneous artistic activity within the broad field of contemporary and traditional artistic practices, it represents itself at important exhibitions, intermedia festivals, symposia and conferences at home as well as on the international scene. BridA’s production is based on painting, graphic arts, video, photography and multimedia installations. Their projects are marked by a constant artistic procedure from the two-dimensional surface in to three-dimensional space, in its work it more exposes the creative process than the final art product and it is occupied with content which refers to the problems of authorship and autonomy of an artwork, or of an artist’s role within contemporary society. Within this, it can link with ease artistic thought with science and the technological achievements. Their opus presents recognized strategies, characteristic of a generation influenced by the fine art paradigms of the new media from the 1990s. BridA works in Sempas. More information about the group is online.

In their curatorial statement, BridA noted: “De.fragmentation is a term which comes from technology. More specifically, it is related to the computer data storage system and concerns the process of rearranging data in order to speed up data retrieval. Upon reflection, this type of optimization simply means a more efficient use of the potential of such a device. Potential is not just something that is planned as part of the product design, it has a maximum, finite value. It is based on specific parameters, and determined only by existing needs and inventiveness/creativity. By rearranging data on the computer disk, thereby taking into consideration the device’s environment and record history, we create new electrical states, which mean a better device and progress in relation to the previous state … . The time and space which contemporary art occupies and in which it manifests itself also has potential of its own. The artist applies his or her creativity to rearrange it into different abstract and material structures. It draws upon a limited space and time for the sole reason of causing change in a given and opportune moment. This change is not irrelevant because it signifies progress. In the context of the showcased artworks and artists, defragmentation is therefore a word which highlights the process as something which necessarily improves on the previous state, an invention, art.”

The IMRC Researcher in Residence Program is made possible by support from the IntermediaMFA Program, the Department of New Media, The University of Maine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll New Media Fund.

De.fragmentation was made possible by support from Kulturni dom Nova Gorica, Pixxelpoint festival, the City Council of Nova Gorica, the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, University of Maine Intermedia Program and the Correll New Media Professorship. More information about the exhibition is online.

The Masters of Fine Arts in Intermedia at the University of Maine provides substantial advanced study for individuals interested in interdisciplinary study in the arts. The program emphasizes intensive development of students’ creative and innovative abilities through a diverse engagement with multiple research processes, critical thinking skills and creative production tools and technologies. The visiting artist series supports and reflects the wide variety of disciplines represented by the program, including, but not limited to, art, new media, theater, dance, philosophy, art history, engineering, communications, media studies, music, psychology and natural sciences.

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New Directors Named in LASST, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:27

New directors have been named to two University of Maine research centers, according to Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Professor of Chemistry Carl Tripp has been appointed director of the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST). Associate Professor of Mass Communication Laura Lindenfeld has been named director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center (MCSPC).

LASST plays a major role in educating and training the next generation of scientists and engineers while carrying out interdisciplinary research projects and technology transfer activities in the areas of surfaces and interfaces, materials, thin films, microelectronic devices, sensor technology and nanotechnology.

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent, research and public service unit of the University of Maine. The center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about state, regional and national policy issues through applied policy research and community engagement.

Tripp obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1988 from the University of Ottawa. From 1986–88, he was applications manager at Bomem Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacturing of Fourier transform spectrometers. In 1988, Tripp joined the Exploratory Surface Chemistry group at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and was promoted to manager of the materials characterization area in 1994. He joined the UMaine faculty in 1998.

Tripp is president and cofounder of Orono Spectral Solutions Inc. The company was founded in 2004 and spun out of research conducted at LASST. His research interests include material development through surface modification. His research in chemical/biosensors, surfactant/polymer interactions on surfaces, sol-gel synthesis and paper coatings has led to more than 128 publications and 17 U.S. patents.

Since 2006, Lindenfeld has held a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. Her research investigates how researchers, communities and policymakers can work together more effectively to advance decision making and support innovation. Building on this research, she seeks to advance working collaborations with policymakers, stakeholders and communities to craft solutions to issues critical to Maine, New England and the nation.

Lindenfeld envisions the MCSPC as a keystone for brokering relationships among the faculty and constituencies through applied public policy research designed to create stronger linkages between the University of Maine and the state of Maine.


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UMaine Extreme Weather, Climate Change Research Featured on WMTW

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 09:07

WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) reported on University of Maine research to improve the prediction of extreme weather events. UMaine received $1.5 million of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s $5.5 million award to increase the precision of predictions of extreme weather events and coastal flooding in the northeastern United States. The UMaine faculty and researchers are among the 39 researchers engaged in the two-year study. The group will build, deploy, garner and analyze data from state-of the-art outfitted floats, gliders and moorings during two winter storms and two summer storms. Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of the UMaine Darling Marine Center; and Huijie Xue, professor of oceanography, spoke about the project. “So rather than four days out saying the storm might be here, the goal is to be able to narrow that window and give better and better predictions,” Perry said. The report also featured the CLAS (Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Conference) held at UMaine to help local community planners prepare for climate changes and introduce them to tools developed at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) to assist in the planning process. Paul Mayewski, CCI director, spoke about weather in relation to climate change. “The climate becomes less stable the more often cold and warm air masses clash,” he said.

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Breaking the Bias Habit Workshop Nov. 20

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 09:06

The ADVANCE Rising Tide Center at the University of Maine will host two sessions of the workshop, “Breaking the Bias Habit: Retaining and Advancing Excellent Faculty Through Bias Literacy,” on Nov. 20.

Two sessions, 9–11:30 a.m. and 2–4:30 p.m., will be held at the Wells Conference Center.

The workshop will provide the vocabulary for talking about and recognizing implicit gender bias, and will present evidence-based strategies to reduce the effect of implicit biases.

The event will be facilitated by Molly Carnes, co-director of the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Jennifer Sheridan, executive and research director at WISELI.

Registration is required by Nov. 18. To register, for more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center at or 207.581.3439. More about the center is online.

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Oceanographer Tracks Gulf of Maine Changes From Orono Lab

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:45

Andrew Thomas has a bird’s-eye view of the Gulf of Maine from his lab in Aubert Hall at the University of Maine in Orono.

The oceanography professor directs the University of Maine Satellite Oceanography Data Lab, which receives daily real-time high-resolution data from NASA’s meteorological satellites.

In this Sept. 27, 2014 satellite image of the Gulf of Maine, Thomas observes several points of interest, most notably the contrasting green summer foliage near the coast and to the south and the developing fall foliage in northwest regions.

He also points to cumulus clouds (concentrated white dots), cirrus clouds (white wisps) and color patterns in the ocean. At the head of the Bay of Fundy, huge tides stir considerable suspended sediment and the water appears brown. Greener ocean waters are indicative of shallow banks and phytoplankton (microscopic plants). Clearest ocean waters are blue.

The images and the collected data, including sea surface temperature and ocean chlorophyll concentrations, allow Thomas to track developing and long-term changes in the ocean, including the impact of water temperature variability on the number and distribution of fish as well as summer algae blooms.

Thomas says tools can be developed for management in the face of those changes.

The lab is part of the University of Maine Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Applications — a cross-disciplinary initiative funded by UMaine and NASA’s Earth Sciences Division).

For more information and to view additional satellite images and data, visit

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UMaine, NOAA Officials Formalize Partnership, Announce Internship Program

University of Maine News - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:34

The University of Maine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture formalized its relationship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) by signing a memorandum of understanding Oct. 30.

Edward Ashworth, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, and William Karp, NOAA Fisheries Northeast science and research director, met to establish a framework to formally recognize previous research collaborations and help initiate new opportunities between UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences; Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology; School of Biology and Ecology; and NOAA scientists.

The agreement lays the foundation for more collaborative research projects between the institutions as well as increased NOAA participation in graduate projects, undergraduate research internships and mentoring.

“I fully expect that this agreement will strengthen and build upon our history of successful collaboration, increase our collective understanding of the fisheries and ecosystems of the Gulf of Maine, and result in new opportunities to mentor students,” Karp says.

Members of the involved UMaine departments and NOAA Fisheries attended the document signing to discuss future opportunities that could result from the agreement.

A new cooperative undergraduate research internship program also was announced during the meeting. NOAA will fund up to five undergraduate research internships for students at UMaine to work with its staff to experience what it is like to work in the fisheries field.

The memorandum of understanding offers broad guidelines for pursuing mutual interests, and shows that NEFSC and UMaine recognize the need for enhancing research collaborations. The institutions are interested in partnerships that expand cooperation, collaboration and the exchange of ideas related to applied research in the Gulf of Maine, its watersheds and the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf.

“Enhanced collaboration between university and government science enterprises will leverage the strengths of both groups to better understand these ecosystems while training the next generation of scientists,” according to the memo.

Karp directs the NEFSC, a federal research institution. NOAA Fisheries’ mission is to ensure vital and sustainable fisheries, safe seafood, recovery and conservation of protected species, and healthy marine ecosystems. For its part, the center gathers and analyzes data and conducts research to develop ecosystem-level knowledge of marine life in waters off the Northeastern U.S. The center has facilities in Orono, Maine; Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Narragansett, Rhode Island; Milford, Connecticut; and Highlands, New Jersey.

Departments within UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture strive to develop scientific understanding of the Gulf of Maine and its watersheds and marine environment, to integrate and communicate knowledge through interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate studies, and to apply it toward the stewardship of the region’s living resources and its habitats.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

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BDN Covers Domestic Violence Prevention Walk at UMaine

University of Maine News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:38

The Bangor Daily News reported on a march held at the University of Maine to raise awareness against domestic violence and advocate for change by educating classmates and the community. UMaine President Susan Hunter spoke at the event. She mentioned several statistics, including that almost half the homicides in Maine involve domestic violence, and mentioned campus programs that offer help. “You are not alone. We have your back. I have your back,” Hunter said. “No one in this community is alone. The UMaine community is here.” The Maine Business School hosted the march in collaboration with UMaine Athletics and the Student Women’s Association.

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Hudson Museum Artifact, Possible Inspiration for NFL Team Logo Arrives in Washington, Seattle Times Reports

University of Maine News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:38

The Seattle Times reported an artifact from the University of Maine’s Hudson Museum that is on loan to Seattle’s Burke Museum has arrived in Washington. The native mask may be the inspiration of the original team logo for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The wooden Northwest Coast transformation mask depicts a bird of prey when closed and reveals a painted depiction of a human face when opened. The artifact is part of the Hudson Museum’s William P. Palmer III collection. It will be on temporary display for the public in Seattle starting in late November, according to the article.

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Brewer Quoted in MPBN Report on Cutler’s Gubernatorial Campaign

University of Maine News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:37

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report titled, “Cutler campaign faces collapse as supporters retreat,” about independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler. Cutler held a press conference six days before the election where he said he intends to stay in the race, but that he’s a realist and understands his chances of winning are slim. He told supporters who worry he cannot win to vote “their conscience.” Brewer said the timing of Cutler’s statements and the close race between Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud will push many of his supporters to vote for Michaud if their primary goal is to defeat the incumbent. Brewer said Cutler’s main message was, “I can’t win this race, so if you need some kind of a release from me to go ahead and change your vote — go ahead and do it.”

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Art Department Accepting Scholarship Applications from High School Students

University of Maine News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:36

The University of Maine’s Department of Art is accepting scholarship applications from current high school seniors who will be applying to enter UMaine as art majors in the fall of 2015.

The Visual Arts Awards are $1,000 and $2,000 scholarships that are renewable for eight semesters and must be used within a five-year period. The awards are given based on merit and evidence or accomplishment in the study of studio art, art history or art education.

Applicants must be accepted to UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and choose an art major to receive a scholarship. Applications must be received by Jan. 28, 2015.

More information, including how to apply, is online and available by calling 207.581.3245.

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President Hunter Writes Op-Ed on Question 2 for BDN

University of Maine News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:33

The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece written by University of Maine President Susan Hunter, titled “‘Yes’ on Question 2 is a vote for Maine’s health, safety.” Question 2 on the November ballot will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that affect domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine. “What’s needed in Maine is a facility devoted to pest management and animal health, where public health threats can be monitored through research and diagnostics,” Hunter wrote.

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Stephen King, John Mellencamp Speak with WABI About Musical Performance at CCA

University of Maine News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:30

WABI (Channel 5) spoke with author Stephen King and musician John Mellencamp about “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” a Southern gothic supernatural musical written by King that debuts Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine. King, a best-selling author and UMaine alumnus, teamed with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and Grammy Award-winning T Bone Burnett to create the tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge. King spoke about what it’s like to kick off the 2014 leg of the tour right near his hometown of Bangor. “It’s wonderful because you know, I’ve lived here going on 40 years now. It’s my hometown. It’s kind of like, come on out and see what I did because it’s almost like when you are in the first grade and your parents come to your show or something like that so, I hope everyone comes and everybody really likes,” King said. “I’m excited. Let’s put it that way.”

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