The place where artists and writers with Maine connections are showcased.

Posts from the ‘Books on Maine people’ category

A Gateless Garden: Quotes by Maine Women Writers

In this collection of quotes by Maine women writers, editor Liza Bakewell has gathered together women’s voices from 1800 to present, beginning with Madame Sally Wood, Maine’s first novelist, and traveling through the last two centuries up to the present day. The matching of quotes with photographs by Kerry Michaels accentuates just how much Maine women writers have energized the essence of place, strengthened women’s lives, and illuminated the human condition. Read more

The Story I Want to Tell by Telling Room wrtiers

by Ramona du Houx

The Story I Want to Tell is a celebration of The Telling Room’s first ten years and its enduring belief in the power of storytelling. To mark this milestone, the book pairs twenty of the best pieces written by The Telling Room’s young writers with brand-new, answering pieces from award-winning writers.

“I had a blast working on this book. Where do I sign up for the next one?” said Richard Russo.

This wonderful collection includes contributions from Richard Russo, Monica Wood, Elizabeth Gilbert, Richard Blanco, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, Lily King, and other masters of the craft, as well as twenty works of writers ranging in age from 13 to 18 whose stories are as diverse as their backgrounds. Read more

Maine Literary Awards announced in 17 categories

Portland Press Herald reporter Bob Keyes was acknowledgedfor his commitment to covering the state’s literary arts with a distinguished achievement award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Maine Literary Awards were presented in 17 categories, including fiction, crime fiction, nonfiction, memoir and children’s books. The alliance will announce the winners in a mailing to independent bookstores across Maine that also will include stickers that booksellers can affix to winning books.

The winners included Roxana Robinson for “Sparta” in fiction; Al Lamanda for “Sunrise” in crime fiction; Lincoln Paine for “The Sea and Civilization” in nonfiction; Peter Korn for “Why We Make Things and Why it Matter” in memoir; Lynn Plourde for “You’re Wearing THAT to School?!” in children’s; Maria Padian for “Out of Nowhere” in young adult; Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto for “New England Gardener’s Year” with the John N. Cole Award; Elizabeth W. Garber and Michael Weymouth for “Maine (Island Time)” for excellence in publishing; Mark D. Diehl for “Seventeen: Book One” in speculative fiction; and Martha White for “E.B. White on Dogs” in anthology. Read more

Project Omaha Beach: The Life and Military Service of a Penobscot Indian Elder

Book by Charles Norman Shay

In 2007 Charles Norman Shay went to Washington, DC, to receive the Legion of Honor medal from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The medal has joined the others bestowed on him, including a Silver Star and four bronze battle stars from World War II and the Korean War, in his home on the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation in Old Town, Maine.

As a young Army medic he had been in the famed 1st Infantry Division that landed in the first wave on Omaha Beach, Normandy. He does not recall how many men he pulled from the water while bullets were streaming past him. “We’ve all had our individual experiences, and none are more dramatic than the next,” said Shay, characteristically modest.

Shay was a medic who saved many lives that D-day in 1944 when 3,000 Allied troops died and some 9,000 were injured or went missing. Shay repeatedly plunged into the treacherous sea and carried critically-wounded men to safety.

His book honors all who served but it was hard for him to recall the past while writing it.

Read more

The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance announce finalists for the 2014 Maine Literary Awards

The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance announced their finalists for the 2014 Maine Literary Awards.

This year’s awards brought in a record-breaking number of submissions:

  • Nearly one hundred and twenty-five books were entered across the genres.
  • More than seventy manuscripts were submitted into the award’s Short Works Competition in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
  • Nearly seventy Maine students submitted work in the same categories in the award’s Youth Competition.

The MWPA is honored to have three independent bookstores sponsoring this year’s literary awards. Sherman’s Books—booksellers since 1886 with locations in Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Freeport, and Portland—is this year’s platinum sponsor. Portland’s fiercely independent Longfellow Books is our gold sponsor and Damariscotta’s Maine Coast Book Shop is our host sponsor. Read more

Shay, a Pennobscot elder, writes about his experiences in WWII and Korea as a medic

My family and ancestors have lived, hunted and fished along Maine’s seacoast and in the valley of the Penobscot River since the Ice Age. Migrating between the coast and inland forests, they paddled bark canoes on rivers, across lakes and along salt-water bays, pausing to set up camp for a few weeks or months at a time. One of my forefathers was Chief Madockawando who camped seasonally at the headwaters of the Bagaduce (now called Walker Pond), just a few miles from Eggemoggin Reach. One of his daughters, my foremother Pidianiske, married young French military officer Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, who was stationed at Fort Pentagoet toward the end of the 17th century.

This French colonial stronghold stood at a strategic location guarding the mouth of the Penobscot River. The marriage of Pidianiske and Jean-Vincent connected two families from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Because his older brother died without children, Jean-Vincent inherited the family castle in Bearn and his father’s title of Baron de Saint-Castin. He and Pidianiske had many children together, including several daughters, one of whom had a son named Joseph Orono who led our Penobscot Indian nation with distinction as chief in the late 1700s. I also descend from John Neptune, a great hunter, shaman, and diplomat who led our tribe for many decades in the early 1800s. One of his many grandsons, Joseph Nicolar, served our people as a tribal representative to the Maine Legislature for several decades. A year before his death in 1894, Nicolar published an important book about the history of my people, titled “The Life and Traditions of the Red Man” (1893). The youngest of his three daughters, Florence, married a Penobscot named Leo Shay, and I am one of their seven children. Read more

Major book publisher, Polar Bear & Company in Central Maine

Polar Bear & Company has been printing quality books and art since 1997 in Solon, Central Maine.


We strive to enhance the quality of life through literature and art.


To give well-intentioned, creative people avenues for their words, wisdom, wit and other talents so they can reach individuals to make stronger communities.

Democracy flourishes when creativity is allowed freedom of expression.

We publish books and produce art to open one’s imagination and to inspire.

Read more

Continental Liar From the State of Maine: James G. Blaine by Neil Rolde

continental-liar-from-the-state-of-maineIn 1884 Republican James G. Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming the President of the United States. This was the margin by which he lost New York State—and thus the election—to Grover Cleveland in what has been called “the dirtiest campaign in American history.”

Yet his career—arguably the most sensational of any American politician of the so-called Gilded Age—did not end there. He was twice U.S. secretary of state, credited with having started our country on the path to acting like a world power, a powerful speaker of the house in Congress, and a United States senator from his adopted State of Maine.

He was also, in the eyes of his opponents, “The Continental Liar From the State of Maine” or “Slippery Jim”—a sort of “amiable Tricky Dick Nixon,” as he’s been later called.

He was hated by certain members of his own party, yet loved by millions of others, including some of his enemies in the Democratic Party. The press called him “The Magnetic Man,” due to his charisma, and another nickname was the “Plumed Knight.” Blaine and his wife, the former Harriet Stanwood of Augusta, knew most of the important Americans of the time—Lincoln, Harrison, Garfield, Carnegie, Roosevelt, and many others. Read more