HAMPDEN — Three writers from one Hampden family are doing their part to help Mainers impacted by the pandemic. Andrea Mahoney and her sons Robert and James contributed their writing to the anthology “Paul Bunyan Wears a Face Mask.” All profits from the sale of the book go to support the COVID-19 Relief Fund of the United Way of Eastern Maine.
The book is published by Imperative Press Books, an independent publisher also based out of Hampden. Imperative Press founder Emma G. Rose started the project as a way to support her friends and neighbors.
“When Mainers come together, we get things done,” Rose said. “I started this project because I wanted to help. It’s amazing to see how many people felt the same way.”
Contributors hail from Bangor, Glenburn, Orono and beyond. Ranging in age from nine years old to 73, they are children and retirees, high school students and nurses, professional writers and new voices published for the first time. Some are snowbirds, others are Maine-born and raised, all are Mainers. Each one wants to help their friends and neighbors.
Partnering with the United Way of Eastern Maine connects the funds raised with the people who need them most. The organization has already funded more than 85 programs providing food, telemedicine, shelter, and other essentials to Mainers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“The more books we sell, the bigger the donation we can make to the United Way,” Rose said. So far, the project has raised about $1,400. Rose would like to double that.
Spanning poetry, essay, and fiction, the collection has one goal: supporting fellow Mainers affected by the pandemic. Each writer explores the emotional toll of the global health crisis from a Mainer’s perspective. Taken together, the anthology reads as a testament to the resilience of Mainers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Reading these pieces gives you a real sense of the fear and uncertainty that people faced and are facing,” Rose said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of hope in these pages. Reading them is a way to connect and remember that even when we’re physically distanced, we’re not alone.”
Books are available from the Briar Patch in Bangor, Bogan Books in Fort Kent, Bookstacks in Bucksport, Blue Hill books and directly from the publisher at www.imperativepressbooks.com.
A virtual event to celebrate the book and its contributors will be held on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Follow The Briar Patch in Bangor on Facebook for event details.