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.