The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the fostering of the literary tradition in Nebraska. Its purpose is to remind us all of the literary and intellectual traditions that enrich our lives and mold our world. The recipient is nominated by the local book festival committee and approved by the Nebraska Center for the Book Board. The Mildred Bennett Award is presented annually at the Nebraska Book Festival by the Nebraska Center for the Book.
Willa Cather Foundation – Mildred Bennett, the charismatic founder and long-time President of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation, could have literally stepped out of a Willa Cather novel. Like some of Cather’s heroines, Mildred was a strong, fiercely independent, intelligent woman, who loved the land and planted her roots deeply in the soil of Webster County, Nebraska. Mildred Bennett, during her lifetime, was recognized as a foremost authority on Willa Cather by literary organizations and universities across the land. Her research and voluminous correspondence with scholars world wide are an important part of the growing archives related to Cather and the early immigrant experiences and history that is held by the Willa Cather Foundation. Willa Cather’s letters and many Cather family possessions continue to be added to this auspicious and growing collection. Read the complete biography.
Go to the comprehensive list of winners, dating back to 1991.