May 212013

Lens & Pen Press’s newest title is their third book to receive IPPY recognition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.Damming the Osage: The Conflicted Story of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir, by Leland and Crystal Payton, has won a silver medal in Best Regional Non-Fiction Mid-West (which includes eight states) in the 2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Lens & Pen Press’s newest title is their third book to receive such recognition. Mystery of the Irish Wilderness in 2009 received a gold medal; See the Ozarks: The Touristic Image was an IPPY award finalist in 2004.

This respected competition is open to independent book producers, university presses, and divisions of major publishers that release 50 or fewer books a year. Chosen from a total of 5,300 entries, the 382 medalists represent 44 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, and eight countries overseas. Co-author Crystal Payton will receive the award at a ceremony on May 29th, in New York City.

Damming the Osage chronicles the untold story of crime, duplicity and deception in the conversion of a free flowing prairie stream into reservoirs.  Rising in Kansas’s Flint Hills, after gathering tributaries through prairie country, the Marais des Cygnes River enters Missouri and soon after becomes the Osage River. It cuts a meandering course through the northern Ozarks, before dumping into the Missouri River. It’s a big, turbid river with a turbulent history. Changes caused by massive water resource development have rarely been examined with a sharper focus and never better illustrated.

Reviews have focused on the exhaustive research (“stupendous” one reviewer called it and “impressive”) and remarkable capturing of the history of a river and the people who live with and on it. Outdoor writer Joel Vance called Damming the Osage a “first-class recital of the river’s history and the story of the two dams that swallowed most of it…a triumph of research and reporting.”

Damming The Osage (ISBN: 978-0-9673925-8-5) retails for $35. Available at many Barnes & Noble bookstores or through Copies can also be ordered from the publisher, postage paid, at

Downloadable images of the book cover and author photos are available at

For more information on this and other Lens & Pen books visit or email .

Information on the 2013 IPPY awards can be found at:

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