2016 Jim Sitter, founding Executive Director of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

2015 Mary François Rockcastle,Director of The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University, and Executive Director, Water~Stone Review

2014 Mark Vinz, Poet; Author; and Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Creative Writing MFA Program Professor and Tom McGrath Visiting Writers Series Director, retired

2013 Robert Hedin, poet, translator, editor, and founding director of the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

2012 Allan Kornblum, founder and senior editor of Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press

2011 Carol Connolly, mentor, advisor, literary program coordinator, community activist and Saint Paul’s first poet laureate

2010 Carolyn Holbrook, founder of SASE: The Write Place, community leader, teacher, advocate, mentor and innovator, former Program Director at The Loft Literary Center

2009 Patrick Coleman, blogger, literary activist and acquisitions librarian, Minnesota Historical Society

2008 Don Leeper, founder and president of BookMobile, a pioneer in Print On Demand. Instrumental in the founding of Minnesota Bookbuilders, a nonprofit association promoting bookmaking and publishing

2007 Emilie Buchwald, publisher, Milkweed Editions and Gryphon Press, former board member and chair of The Loft Literary Center

2006 Richard Robbins, director of the creative writing program at Minnesota State University (MSU), Mankato and the Good Thunder Reading Series

2005 Marly Rusoff, founder of The Loft Literary Center

2004 Dr. Julian Plante, founding director, Hill Monastic Manuscript Library

2003 John “Jack” Parker, curator, James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota

2003 Karen Nelson Hoyle, curator, Children’s Literature Research Collections, including the Kerlan Collection and the Hess Collection, at the University of Minnesota

2002 Harry Lerner, publisher, Lerner Publishing Group

2001 Jolie Lynne Sasseville & James Drey Alzheimer, co-founders of Stone House Press and organizers of literary arts programs in Otter Tail County (presented posthumously)

2000 Jeanne Fischer, book reviewer, book discussion leader, library volunteer

1999 Gail See, Bookcase bookstore and literary organization boards

1998 C.W. “Bill” Truesdale, publisher, New Rivers Press

1997 Gov. Elmer L. Andersen, book collector and bibliophilanthropist

1996 Harold Kittleson, bibliophile and library benefactor

1995 Norton Stillman, book wholesaler, bookstore owner and publisher

1994 Glenda Martin & Mollie Hoben, founders, Minnesota Women’s Press

1993 David Unowsky, owner, Ruminator Bookstore

1992 Doris Pagel, editor, Authors and Illustrators as Program Resources

1991 The Charles and Gertie Geck Family, promoters of children’s books and authors

1989 Mary Ann Grossmann, books editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press

1988 Kay Sexton, book buyer and promoter of books and reading, B. Dalton