Robert Hedin, founding director of the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, was honored with the Kay Sexton Award on Saturday, April 13 at the 25th annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala presented by Marvin Windows and Doors. The Sexton Award is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota. This award honors Kay Sexton, a book buyer for many years at Dayton’s and B. Dalton Bookstores in the Twin Cities. She was the first recipient of the award in 1988. The Sexton Award is sponsored by Common Good Books.
The Anderson Center, an estate set on 330 acres in Red Wing, Minnesota, provides a residency program for writers and artists from the United States and abroad to work and live on site, and is committed to promoting arts in the larger community. “Whether Robert Hedin is tending to the immediate needs of the current residents, planning future literary events, working with the greater community on arts outreach, or promoting the work of Minnesota writers, his leadership and generosity set the tone for the Anderson Center,” says Sheila O’Connor, Minnesota author and Hamline University Assistant Professor.
Under Hedin’s direction, the Anderson Center, now in its 18th year as the largest artist community in the Upper Midwest, hosts several literary events throughout the year where readers and writers gather, including the widely attended Celebration of Minnesota Children’s Authors and Illustrators held in September. In addition to directing the Anderson Center, Hedin has been the co-editor of The Great River Review, the oldest continuously published literary journal in Minnesota since 1997.
The recipient of numerous awards for his writing, including two Minnesota Book Awards, Hedin is the author, translator and editor of nearly two dozen books of poetry and prose published by such presses as Copper Canyon Press, University of Arizona, University of Iowa, and Southern Illinois University. He edited Where One Voice Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2007 in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial.