2012 Phoenix Award Winner
When Karen Hesse was young, a librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library supplied her with books. Later, Karen would work in libraries. She has also been a nanny, a secretary, a typesetter, and a proofreader. At the University of Maryland she received a degree English and minors in psychology and anthropology. Her many honors include a 1998 Newbery Medal for Out of the Dust, A MacArthur Fellows Grant and a Kerlan Award for her contributions of original manuscripts and writing to the Children's Literature Research Collection at the University of Minnesota. The Children's Literature Association is honoring her 1992 National Jewish Book Award winning-novel, Letters from Rifka.
2012 Francelia Butler Lecture
Gregory Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children has taken him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and co-director of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers. Mr. Maguire is an honored alumnus here at Simmons, where he received a Master's degree in Children's Literature from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature and taught at Simmons for eight years.