George Hodgman, Winner of the Inagural Ardis L. Glenn Prize
September 30, 2016
Kansas City, Missouri
The formal presentation of the Missouri Center for the Book’s prestigious Ardis L. Glenn Prize recently took place in the elegantly intimate surroundings of The Diastole Scholars’ Center. The recipient of the award is George Hodgman, for his memoir, Bettyville.
Larisa Cassell, former president of the Missouri Center for the Book and co-proprietor of Green Gate Farm Antiquarian Books in Richmond, MO. introduced Mr. Hodgman to an invitational gathering. The attendees included colleagues, friends and family of Mrs. Glenn, who now resides in Florida with her family. Glenn, Hodgman and Cassell, all Missouri natives, share a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of a midwestern upbringing. These experiences were eloquently framed by Cassell as she spoke of “planting seeds in tough Missouri clay, failing, planting again, failing, planting again, astoundingly proud when something really fine manages to take root, grow and bloom, full and fine. Something like the Glenn Prize and Bettyville.”
George Hodgman warmly thanked the Missouri Center for the Book and patrons of the Glenn Prize for their generous support. The inaugural year included a $5,000.00 cash award, making it one of the largest literary awards in the state of Missouri. Hodgman speaks as he writes, a rare combination of humor without cynicism and love without sentimentality. “I chose not to include segments in my manuscript about my mother’s death in the final book,” Hodgman said, before sharing some of those quietly tender passages with an audience clearly appreciative of the author’s depth of caring and respect for his mother, who passed away last year.
Hodgman concluded the remarkable evening in the same manner he began. He recounted a favorite story about Betty, capped with humility and a deep sense of joy.
From the Glenn Prize Resolution:
“In October 1977, an act of Congress established the National Center for the Book under the auspices of the U.S. Library of Congress. On October 13, 2013—precisely the 36th anniversary of the National Center for the Book—The Missouri Center for the Book established the Ardis L. Glenn Prize. Approved by acclamation of the MCB board, The Ardis L. Glenn Prize has been three years in the making and represents the most prestigious honor currently bestowed by the Missouri Center.
The Prize is named for Ardis L. Glenn, renowned Kansas City antiquarian bookseller and Missouri native. As the 2013 resolution reads, “The prize will be awarded in the future to individuals and institutions that, in the spirit of Ardis L. Glenn, promote book arts in its varied aspects (writing, illustrating, designing, printing, collecting, selling, teaching) in Missouri.”
As its inaugural winner, the MCB has selected Bettyville, a memoir by George Hodgman. Published in 2015 by Penguin Books, Bettyville meets those high standards and carries them proudly forward.”
About Ardis L. Glenn
Ardis Lenore (Couchman) Glenn was born in 1922 in Kansas City. In her early years of employment, Ardis was hired as a secretary by Frank Glenn, who had established his antiquarian bookshop at 312 Ward Parkway in Kansas City. Opened in 1933, the shop specialized in rare books and manuscripts. Ardis and Frank married, raising their family in the Rockhill neighborhood. Upon Frank’s death in 1960, Ardis became the sole proprietor of Glenn Books, then located at 1227 Baltimore in downtown Kansas City. After a long and distinguished career in the world of fine and rare books, she retired in 1991. Ardis currently resides in Florida where, with boundless generosity and grace, she continues to share her lifelong love of books, the book arts, and reading.
To her many fans and colleagues in the book world, she is known affectionately as “The Doyenne” and “The Belle of Baltimore.” For nearly thirty years, she lived in the middle of Missouri’s rich literary tapestry. Rare book collectors of international repute and readers barely tall enough to reach the shop doorbell received the same welcome from the book lady at 1227 Baltimore. “Come in,” she would say, gleefully. “I have something special to show you.”
The Missouri Center for the Book is grateful to the following individuals and organizations for contributing to the Glenn Prize and to the evening’s program: Penguin Publishers; Judith Armstrong; Jocelyn and Phil Bronson; Columbia Books; Diastole Scholars’ Center; Glenn Books; Green Gate Farm Antiquarian Books; Larry and Annette Hancks; J. Hood, Booksellers; Laurel Inferrera; Charles Kopke; Murphy-Brookfield Books; Madeline Matson; Cliff Ritchey; Naomi Williamson; The College of Arts and Letters at Missouri State University
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