Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lens & Pen Press’s Newest Title Wins Gold Medal

Mystery of the Irish Wilderness Wins Gold Medal in Regional Non-Fiction

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Mystery of the Irish Wilderness: Land and Legend of Father John Joseph Hogan’s Lost Irish Colony in the Ozark Wilderness by Leland and Crystal Payton has received a gold medal. Lens & Pen Press’s newest title received the competitive award in Regional Non-Fiction at the 13th Annual Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY). Winners were recently announced at a ceremony held during BookExpo America weekend in New York City.

More than 4,000 books were entered; only 110 gold medals were selected in all categories. The competition is open to independent book producers, university presses, and divisions of major publishers that release 50 or fewer books a year. Yale University Press led the medal count with five, followed by Indiana University Press with four.

“This award is especially gratifying as it confirms our mission to tell stories with a regional focus in books with the highest level of design, layout and production,” said Crystal Payton.

The Paytons delved into rare primary historical sources including diocesan archives, Bureau of Land Management records, antique maps pinpointing the brief colony. Their research sheds light on a little known episode in Irish American history, the Trans-Mississippi Civil War, the boom-and-bust timber business of the nineteenth century, and environmental policies of the twentieth century.

The settlers disappeared after the Civil War but their sojourn on the Ozark frontier is forever enshrined in the name “Irish Wilderness.” Today that name denotes part of the area in the Ozarks where they briefly settled, which is now a 16,500-acre unit of the National Wilderness System.

The book has received favorable reviews from national experts on Irish American history as well as regional and Civil War historians.

Mystery of the Irish Wilderness, a 128-page, all-color book, retails for $18.95. Available at many bookstores or through Copies can also be ordered from the publisher, postage paid.

For more information on this and other Lens & Pen books visit
$18.95 paper
7x10 inches 128 pages
80 color plates
ISBN: 978-0-9673925-4-7