NORWAY – Norway historian and author Peter Lenz has produced a collection of the works of western Maine writers from hundreds of years ago to the present day.

He was busy at the recent Norway Summer Festival taking orders for the book, and took time to present a copy to U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, who was at the fest to open the local Democratic headquarters.

Over the years, while working on other projects including the Oxford Hills oral history project, Lenz has collected diaries, speeches, sermons, letters and journals. Last summer, he decided to put together a collection of these works and to add selected works from modern writers of the area.

The result is “Literary Treasures from the Western Maine Foothills: Rediscovered Artistic and Cultural Heritage, Historic, Humorous and Modern Pearls – A Reader and Anthology.”

Included are poetry, fiction, nonfiction, commentary, essays, speeches, chronicles, sermons, letters and journals.

Toni Seger, executive director of the Western Oxford Foothills Cultural Council, said Lenz’s book will help bring to light the cultural richness of the region as Oxford County prepares to celebrate its bicentennial next year.

“Western Maine has more to it than pretty scenery,” she said. “We have a long history of cultural creativity, and (Lenz’s book) is a perfect way to say that.”

Seger said Lenz has a knack for selecting works that complement each other and speak to the heart.

“He’s got wonderful instincts,” she said. “He goes with his heart, and that’s why he really touches people.”

Lenz plans a gathering this fall of the people whose writings are included in the book. People may order a copy of the book by calling him at 744-0966.

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