AUGUSTA – Gov. John E. Baldacci recently hosted a reception at the State House Hall of Flags to celebrate the publication of a new book, “Maine Voices: A Celebration of the People of Maine and the Places They Love” (published by the Wilderness Society and distributed by Milkweed Editions, 2004; $10 paperback).

“Maine Voices” presents stories and reflections by a cross-section of Maine people, “from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author to a potato picker to a 6-year-old girl,” Jeremy Sheaffer, editor, states in the introduction.

Katherine Mawhinney of Auburn, now 7, was the youngest essayist to be included in the book and she was invited to read her story for Baldacci and more than 200 invited guests.

Her essay, titled “Building Fairy Houses,” was selected for publication from nearly 2,000 entries submitted by Maine residents describing their favorite outdoor places in Maine.

Mawhinney, a home-schooler, is the daughter of Daniel and Diane Mawhinney of Auburn. Her brother, Woody, a freshman at Edward Little High School, also had a piece excerpted for publication in the book.

“Maine Voices” presents stories and reflections by wilderness advocates and loggers, anglers and birders, campers and homesteaders, city dwellers and rural farmers, residents of the coast and of the western mountains.

“Everyday folk from Fort Kent to Kittery and everywhere in between,” Sheaffer said, “write about their love for the land and people of Maine.”

In his foreword to the book, Baldacci writes, “These are all Maine voices and, taken together, they form a dialogue that challenges, enriches and alters our perceptions of Maine landscapes and the people with whom we share them. This collection reminds us that where we live shapes what we value.”

Also included in the book are ideas and approaches for place-based writing to inspire more Mainers to write their own stories. The book is available at Mr. Paperback in Lewiston and other local booksellers.

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