The Rye Free Reading Room Mayor's Award celebrates the literary legacy of Rye, and recognizes a local individual for significant contributions to advancing the Literary Arts. “Rye has been blessed to have been called home by an incredible number of extraordinarily talented people” said trustee Jan Kelsey, chair of the inaugural committee. “It is fitting that we honor their contribution and remember our Rye heritage. It has been a fascinating project to gather the names together for such well-deserved local recognition.”

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2022 Honoree
Annabel Monaghan
Columnist and Writer. A Los Angeles transplant to Rye, Annabel studied English at Duke University, earned an MBA from Wharton, and left Wall Street to pursue writing. She created and moderates “Friends With Words”, writes a column for the Rye Record, and has published Click, A Girl Named Digit, Double Digit, Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big, Nora Goes Off Script, and Same Time Next Summer.
2021 Honoree
Paul DeForest Hicks
Journalist and Writer. Paul grew up in Loudon Woods, and has fond memories of Doris Bird and “Pa” Cope. Writing started with Princeton thesis, and continued at Harvard Law School. After law and business writing, Paul now writes for the Rye Record, and has published Joseph Henry Lumpkin : Georgia’s First Chief Justice, John E. Parsons : An Eminent New Yorker in The Gilded Age, and The Litchfield Law School : Guiding the New Nation.
2020 Honoree
Nan A. Talese
Publisher and Editorial Director of Nan A. Talese, an imprint of Knopf/Doubleday. Nan was born in Rye, and has worked as an editor at Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Houghton Mifflin. She has been the Publisher and Editorial Director of Nan A. Talese, an imprint of Knopf/Doubleday. Authors of her imprint include Margaret Atwood, Mary Morris, Ian McEwan, and many more.
Posthumous Honorees
Charles Washington Baird
Author: Chronicles of a Border Town: The History of Rye, N.Y., 1660-1870; A History of the Huguenot Emigration to America
Ethel Barrymore
Actress & author: Memories: An Autobiography
Doris Bird
Librarian: Children’s librarian at Rye Free Reading Room for over 40 years
Junius Bird
Archaeologist & author: Travels and
Archaeology in South Chile.
Curator of South American Archaeology at Museum of Natural History and President of Society of American Archaeology
Stephen Birmingham
Author: Our Crowd; Real Lace; The Grandees
Barbara Pierce Bush
Literacy advocate & author: Founder of Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Millie's Book; Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (that go a long way)
Albert Cullum
Educator & author: Push Back the Desks; The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died But Teacher You Went Right On; Blackboard, BlackBoard on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest One of All?; Greek and Roman Plays: For the Intermediate Grades
Marcia Dalphin
Librarian & author: Fifty Years of Rye, 1904-1954
Clarence Day
Author: Life with Father; Life with Mother
Amelia Earhart
Aviator & author: 20 hrs. 40 min.: Our Flight in the Friendship; The fun of it
Lauren Ford
Painter & author: 1940 Caldecott Medal Honor The Ageless Story
Arlene Hawkins
Author: Read About Rye: 1660-1960
Elizabeth Janeway
Author: Daisy Kenyon; Man’s World, Woman’s Place: A Study of Social Mythology
John P. Marquand
Author: 1938 Pulitzer Prize The Late George Apley; H.M. Pulham, Esquire; Point of No Return
Frederic Ogden Nash
Poet and lyricist: I’m a Stranger Here Myself; Good Intentions; You Can’t Get There from Here
Ruth Rowland Nichols
Aviator & author: Wings for Life
Eric Nisenson (1946-2003)
Author & jazz historian: Round about Midnight: A Portrait of Miles Davis; Ascension; John Coltrane and his Quest
Silas Sadler Packard (1826-1898)
Author: The Bryant and Stratton Book-keeping Series; Complete Course of Business Training; Commercial Arithmetic; New Manual of Book-keeping and Correspondence
Elsie Clews Parsons
Author & anthropologist: The Family; Religious Chastity; Pueblo Indian Religion. President of the American Folklore Society
George P. Putnam (1887-1950)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam and Sons
Michael Silberkleit (1932-2008)
Publisher: Archie Comics
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