Announcing The 2023 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Winner

Desideria “Desi” Mesa (center) was the winner of the 2023 Thorpe Menn Book Award for literary excellence on Saturday, October 7, 2023 for her debut novel Bindle Punk Bruja. Second Place went to Catherine Browder (left) for her book of short stories, Resurrection City: Stories of the Disaster Zone, and Third Place to Olivia Hill for her memoir, Travel North Black Girl: 3,000-Mile Journey in Search of Love, Peace, and Home. Desi was awarded $300, and Catherine and Olivia each received an award of $100. They all received a framed certificate of their award.

Alvin Brooks, 2022 Thorpe Menn Book Award winner for his memoir, Binding Us Together, was the keynote speaker at the Award Luncheon before 61 attendees. The luncheon was held in the Auditorium at Woodneath Library Center, Mid-Continent Public Library. This was the 45th year the award, sponsored by AAUW-Kansas City branch, was presented to authors residing in the Greater Kansas City area.

Congratulations to these authors nominated for the 2023 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award.

My Brother Speaks in Dreams: Of Family, Beauty & Belonging by Catherine Anderson

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

By the Side of the Road by Marla Bernard

The Fall of Faith by Jeff Berney

Orion O’Brien and the Ghost of Samuel Grayhawk by Fran Borin

Salt Holds No Secret But This by Steve Brisendine

To Dance with Cassiopeia and Die by Steve Brisendine

Resurrection City: Stories from the Disaster Zone by Catherine Browder

made of earth by Alisha Christensen

Ripple: A Long Strange Search for a Killer by Jim Cosgrove

Home is the Road: Wandering the Land, Shaping the Spirit by Diane Glancy

Love of Ornamental Fish by Beth Gulley

Travel North Black Girl: A 3,000-Mile Journey in Search of Love, Peace, and Home by Olivia Hill

The Fork Who Ate Cake by Alyssa Suzanne Hodges

The Thread by Andrew Michael Johnson

Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD by Jason Kander

One-Match Fire by Paul Lamb

The Undead Truth of US by Britney S. Lewis

Stealing Chaos by Sarah Leyton

Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Comets: Relationships That Wander by Annie Klier Newcomer

From the Heart of the Hood to the Pinnacle of Paris by Steve Penn

An Old Woman Walks into a Bar by Deborah Shouse

The Salt of My Tears by Latonya Stephens

Memory Box by John L. Swainston

Call Me Fool by William Trowbridge