TallMountain Awards

TallMountain Award for Creative Writing and Community Service

Since 1994 the TallMountain Award has commemorated Mary’s literary excellence and her generous spirit in community. Awards are given to low-income and emerging writers who display artistic merit and who contribute to spiritual and artistic development in their communities. Preference is given to Native Americans and to Tenderloin and inner-city residents. Typical grants have been $100-500. The TallMountain Award has also been granted to projects and organizations that serve low-income and emerging writers. Recipients of The TallMountain Award have included:

  • Abena Songbird, Abenaki poet and musician, former soloist at Glide Memorial Church Choir
  • Terry Messman, long-time editor of “Street Spirit” newspaper, published by the American Friends Service Committee
  • Mary Lockwood, an Indigenous Alaskan storyteller
  • The Tenderloin Older Writers Network (TOWN), facilitated by Kali Grossberg
  • Paul Owns-the-Sabre, Lakota artist and poet
  • Marsha Campbell, Tenderloin/North Beach poet and musician
  • Jerry Miley, a homeless Tenderloin poet
  • Faithful Fools, a Tenderloin arts-and-spirituality “ministry of presence” to people in need, offering accompaniment and street retreats
  • Kim Shuck, a San Francisco born Cherokee/Polish poet, bead-weaver and story teller (who since became 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco)
  • Beth Saunders Stanford, an impeccable and tireless TREC and TallMountain Circle organizer for more than a decade… in memorium
  • Virginia Blair was in her mid eighties and a stalwart member of the Tenderloin Women Writers Workshop for many years. She has written and published poems about the Tenderloin, racism, TREC people’s library, and about her career as a stage and film dancer.
  • Melissa McNeill was seventy years old and had been attending writing workshops at TREC for several past year. She is currently writing a series of children’s stories focusing on a magical raven.