Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

NEW YORK - Singer-songwriter Don McLean's original manuscript and notes to "American Pie'' have been sold at auction for $1.2 million.

McLean offered the wistful anthem that asks "Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died?'' at Christie's on Tuesday.

The name of the buyer was not released.

The 16 pages include the original working manuscript and typed drafts of the song.

The eight-minute-long "American Pie'' was released in 1971. It was a No. 1 U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972.

CAMDEN, Maine — The original manuscript of Don McLean's "American Pie" is up for auction this week.

The manuscript and notes from the song that debuted in 1971 are being sold by the singer-songwriter who lives in Camden, Maine. Christie's is handling the auction Tuesday in New York.

The single "American Pie" achieved No. 1 status in January 1972.

The song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was named a "Song of the Century" by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - The Louis Graves Memorial Library in Kennebunkport is taking applications for its first ever "writer in residence." The person selected will be given a free place at the library to write, in return for doing some kind of program for library patrons.

Josh Bodwell, executive director of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance says this is the first program of its kind he's aware of in the state. Irwin Gratz sat down at the library with Bodwell and Graves Library Director Mary Lou Boucouvalas to talk about the project.

Courtesy: "I Learn America"

PORTLAND, Maine - A recent wave of immigrants to the city of Portland has meant big changes for the city's public schools, where about 25 percent of students don't speak English at home. As a part of the Portland Children's Film Festival this week, several hundred local high school school kids came together to watch and discuss a film that deals with immigrant teenagers' experiences at one New York City high school.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — The James Beard awards are known as the "Oscars of the culinary world," and among this year's nominees are a record number of Maine chefs and other food professionals, including Alison Pray of Portland.

Jennifer Rooks / MPBN

WATERVILLE, Maine — An 11th grader from Mount Ararat High School will represent Maine in the National Poetry Out Loud competition next month.

  Rose Horowitz won the state finals held yesterday at the Waterville Opera House. She surprised herself — she couldn't even believe that she made it to the finals. But she was a natural on stage.

"Like my actual character is very shy and scared and I have a hard time talking," she says. "I actually do Poetry Out Loud because I can be someone else and can be confident."

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Historical Society has a new chief curator. Kate McBrien most recently was curator of historic collections at the Maine State Museum in Augusta. McBrien came by MPBN's studios last week to talk with Irwin Gratz about her work, and her passion for the past.

Courtesy: Michael-Thomas Foumai

PORTLAND, Maine - Tonight in Portland is the world premiere of a new piece of music dedicated to Beethoven. The Portland Symphony commissioned the work as part of its 90th anniversary celebration series.

BRADENTON, Fla. - Author Stephen King came to southwest Florida to support local libraries.

The Library Foundation supporting the Manatee County Public Library System asked King to speak Thursday at an annual author event. The Herald reports that $200 tickets for King's talk sold out, and the foundation met its $100,000 fundraising goal. The money will help fund a new library computer system.

Courtesy: Orly Genger

PORTLAND, Maine - A New York-based artist has become an unlikely source of revenue for a lot of Maine lobstermen. Internationally-renowned sculptor Orly Genger makes massive works of art using rope - particularly discarded lobster line.

PARIS, Maine — A Maine jeweler says a piece of apatite he is cutting is the largest apatite gemstone ever found in North America.

The Sun Journal reports Dennis Creaser of Paris, Maine, says the purple gemstone weighed 65.5 carats when it arrived in his store. A Connecticut mineral dealer hired him to cut the gem after obtaining it when a collector in that state died. The apatite came from Pulsifer Quarry in Auburn, Maine, where it was mined.

Courtesy Lily King

YARMOUTH, Maine - Yarmouth author Lily King says she was "completely surprised, and thrilled, and extremely honored" by her nomination for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle award.

"Some of my very favorite writers are on that list," she says, "so it's truly thrilling to be a part of it."

Those writers include Chang-rae Lee for "Such a Full Sea," Marlon James for "A Brief History of Seven Killings," Rabih Alameddine for "An Unnecessary Woman," and Marilynne Robinson for "Lila."

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine poet and filmmaker who spends much of his free time documenting the graves of dead poets is launching a cartoon contest inspired by the attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.

Walter Skold says his "Laugh Your Head Off" contest aims to celebrate free expression.

He says the goal is "to defend freedom of expression, resist Islamist intimidation, and actually have some fun."

Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUBURN, Maine - This weekend the West Auburn Congregational Church will celebrate a second CD release by one of its oldest members.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

It took University of Maine professor Warren Riess some 30 years to solve the mystery of a ship.

It was buried for hundreds of years below filled-land in lower Manhattan, and was discovered in 1982 as preparations were underway to build a 30-story building on the site. Archaeologists who first spotted it knew they needed expert help, so they called Riess, who had just received a master's degree in nautical archaeology.

Warren Riess and his partner, Sheli Smith, wrote "The Ship that Held Up Wall Street."