The Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn (1912-1979), long-time book editor of the Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially authors and artists.
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Saturday, October 7th
39th Annual Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award luncheon to honor and recognize the outstanding work of Kansas City area authors and announce the 2017 winner.
Kansas City Public Library-Central Branch
11:30 a.m. Social / 12 p.m. Luncheon & Awards Program
Our keynote speaker is award-winning writer, scholar and poet Patrick Dobson. He will tell us about his life on the fringes of the Great Plains as penned in his books Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer and Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains.
Dobson is a professor at Johnson County Community College and a union ironworker in Kansas City. He earned a doctorate in History and American Literature at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013.
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2017 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Nominees
Real Love, No Drama by Danny Alexander
Royals: From Worst to First by Del Black, Sid Bordman, Joe Henderson, Jim Murray and Bob Sands
Our Home, Kansas City by Scott Brown
Tyrabbisaurus Rex by Amy Culey
Sehmah’s Truth by Amy Culey
Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow by John M. Curatola, Ph.D. Lt. Col. USMC (ret.)
Kansas City Beer by Pete Dulin
Sid the Sasquatch by Wendy Elliott
Pug meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion
Truthsong by Elisabeth Hamill
Dirt Sweat and Diesel by Steven L. Hilty
Now I’m Found by Theresa Hupp
Hard Times in the Heartland by Sally Jadlow
For Arms: A Civil War Sea Saga by Hibberd V.B. Kline III
Freedom, Inc. and Black Political Empowerment by Micah W. Kubic
Heart Deco by Norm Ledgin
Angels with Angles by Loring Leifer
It’s A Sunny Life by Gary Lezak
State of Grace by Sandra Moran
The School the Aztec Eagles Built by Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson
Paper Birds Don’t Fly by Al Ortolani
Beyond the Shores by Lillian Gonzalez-Pardo, M.D.
Global Discontent: The Mosaic of Cultural Diversity by Manouchehr (Manny) Pedram
Connecting in the Land of Dementia by Deborah Shouse
Lynched: The Power of Memory in a Culture of Terror by Angela D. Sims
A Great Fullness by Robert F. Sommer
The Value of Doubt by Bill Tammeus
Sorial Promise: Book I of the Mindforce Saga by Christopher Vaughan
Zero Meridian, Five Degrees North, A Man of Service by Priscilla H. Wilson
The Coaster by Erich Wurster
We regret any errors.
Recap of Past Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Events
2016 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Patrick Dobson
Local authors and guests gathered at the Kansas City Central Library for the 38th Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award on October 1. The award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn, longtime book editor of The Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially local authors and artists.
The 2016 Literary Excellence Award was presented to Patrick Dobson for his bookCanoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer. The finalists were: Andrea Warren for The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas and James P. Muehlberger, The 116: The True Story of Abraham Lincoln’s Lost Guard.
Special thanks to our keynote speaker Barbara Stuber, award-winning author and museum docent, Vivien Jennings and Roger Doeren of Rainy Day Books, and the Kansas City Public Library.
2015 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Barbara Stuber
The 2015 Literary Excellence Award was presented to Barbara Stuber for her book Girl In Reverse. The two finalists included Arlin Buyert for “Oh Say Can You See” and Alarie Tennille, Running Counterclockwise. Congratulations to all of the 26 nominated authors!
AAUW-KC honored Vivien Jennings, founder and president of Rainy Day Books, for over a decade of generous support of the Thorpe Menn Award. Special thanks to keynote speaker Maija Rhee Devine, noted Korean-born author and 2014 Thorpe Menn winner, and all of our table hostesses and volunteers.
2014 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Maija Rhee Devine
On October 4, 2014, the 36th annual Literary Excellence Award was presented to Maija Rhee Devine for her book The Voices of Heaven. The finalists were: Suzanne Kelly for Stolen Child and Deborah Shouse, Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregivers Journey. Congratulations to all of the 26 nominated authors!
AAUW-KC honored Crosby Kemper III for a decade of generous support of the Thorpe Menn Award – with his help we have been able to honor and recognize over 150 local authors.
Special thanks to keynote speaker Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star Editorial Columnist; Vivien Jennings and Roger Doeren of Rainy Day Books; and all of our table hostesses and volunteers.
2013 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Samuel Arbesman
The award was presented to Samuel Arbesman for his book The Half-Life of Facts. The finalists were: Hughes Keenan, The Harvest Is Past; and Debra McArthur, A Voice for Kanzas. Congratulations to all 17 nominated local authors!
“35 Authors: Where Are They Now?”, a special tribute to the past winners, was presented by guest speaker Vivien Jennings, president of Rainy Day Books. The tribute was a compilation of author interviews, research, and a video produced by event and reading committee members.
2012 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Candice Millard
Over 100 authors, members and guests gathered at the Central Library for the 34th Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award on October 6, 2012. The award was presented to Candice Millard for her book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.
The finalists for this year’s award were Carolyn Glenn Brewer for Caught Ever After – Children of the Ruskin Heights Tornado; and Andrea Warren, Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London.
Congratulations to all of the 2012 nominated local authors!
“Who Was Thorpe Menn?”, a theatrical performance, was presented as an homage to Thorpe Menn (1912–1979), longtime book editor of The Kansas City Star. We were honored to have his daughters, Gretchen Menn and Becky Menn-Hamblin in attendance, traveling from Virginia and Tennessee!
Watch the tribute performance at http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9251662/who_was_thorpe_menn/.
2011 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Christie Hodgen
The 2011 award went to Christie Hodgen for Elegies for the Brokenhearted. The finalists were Tasha Haas for Certain Dawn, Inevitable Dawn, and Barbara Stuber, Crossing the Tracks.
Candice Millard, distinguished local author, delivered the keynote address, and captivated the audience with details about her new book, The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President.