“It’s too early to say how the award will ruin or qualify me,” said Jones, “But I do know that this money is for my son’s education and that it gives me courage as an artist to pursue excellence.” As for McHenry – he bears an astonishing resemblance both in appearance and voice to actor Jimmy Stewart – he noted that the cash made it possible to do something very important – buy a badly needed new stove. A native Kansan, he and his young family live in Seattle where he writes poetry for Slate and is an associate editor of Columns magazine. “The best feeling about this award is that my book has found some enthusiastic readers, that it isn’t unwelcome in the world,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade that for a $100,000 lottery ticket.” CGU President Robert Klitgaard presided over the doings, which included remarks by Robert Pinsky and a reading of the winners’ poetry by actor Leonard Nimoy. Following the ceremonies, guests strolled to the nearby Omni Hotel for an elegant dinner in honor of Maguire. There were several San Gabriel Valley folks on the scene including Adelaide Hixon, Peggy Phelps, Phoebe and Larry Wilson, Leelee Clement Doughty; Carol and Warner Henry, Lisa Krueger and Bob Wyman; Mark Cull; Ann Peterson and Stuart Coxhead; Jolly Urner; Kate Gale; Pamela and Nick West and Christie and George Hedges. former U.S. poet laureate BLINN HONOR Although “mixed-use” behemoths seem to be springing up at every turn in Pasadena, there is no city that has been more zealous in protecting its truly historic landmarks. The credit that we still have architectural treasures such as the Gamble House, the Pasadena Playhouse and the Colorado Street Bridge belongs to a posse of preservationists who have been battling bulldozers for more than three decades. Four years ago the Blinn House Foundation, which maintains the 100-year-old Prairie School-style home – headquarters of the Women’s City Club since 1945 – established an annual tribute to an individual who has made a major contribution to preservation in Pasadena. The award is named in honor of its first recipient, Robert Winter, the eminent local historian who has played a major role in preservation causes throughout the Southland. Past awardees include Claire Bogaard, executive director emerita of Pasadena Heritage, and her successor, Sue Mossman. This year’s laurel, presented at the foundation’s annual dinner at Blinn House, went to Gamble House Director Edward “Ted” Bosley, who has overseen the conservation project at the Greene Brothers’ masterpiece. Bosley’s roots to architectural preservation go back a long way. His late mother, Phyllis Bosley, a member of the WCC, was an early supporter of the Blinn House Foundation. During his undergrad days at UC Berkeley, he became smitten with Craftsman architecture while a member of Sigma Phi fraternity whose house was designed by Greene & Greene in 1909. Living there influenced his decision to major in art history, he said. Mossman presented the award to Bosley, a plaque designed by Pasadena architect Russell Hobbs. In acknowledging the award, Bosley paid tribute to his staff, contractors and the team at the USC School of Architecture. “Preservation is something that we in Pasadena are proud of,” he said. “It is a shared value, but justified pride can lead to complacency. There are those who feel that preservation stands in the way of progress. We must continue our efforts to educate; be vigilant; and stay involved.” Citing the current target in the crosshairs of a developer, the Herkimer Arms built in 1912 at 527 E. Union Street, Bosley noted, “It is the only apartment house designed by Greene & Greene. If a home is not found for it soon, it could be demolished.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The awards were started in 1992 by Kate Tufts to honor her late husband, a poet, writer and – would you believe? – an accountant. The couple’s passion had always been poetry. When Kingsley died in 1991, Kate sold the Hollywood Hills estate inherited from her father to fund the awards to help struggling poets. I was lucky enough to be invited to this year’s awards held at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Music honoring poets Rodney Jones and Eric McHenry along with CGU President Emeritus John D. Maguire. In 1992 Norman Clement of Pasadena encouraged Maguire to contact his cousin, Kate, who wanted to create an endowment for poets at a university. “I paid her a visit. “It was love at first sight,” Maguire recalled. “And it was Claremont.” Serving as a judge for these awards is daunting. According to Robert Wrigley, chairman of the Tufts jury and a past awardee, 177 volumes were submitted for the Kingsley and 126 for the Kate this year. “We hauled a lot of poetic hod,” he said. CGU Dean Patricia Easton made the presentations. The Kingsley went to Jones for his book “Salvation Blues.” Alabama-born, he is a professor of English at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. And McHenry’s first book, “Potscrubber Lullabies,” earned him the Kate. So will these windfalls change their lives? You bet. I didn’t even know that there was a National Poetry Month. Until I went a-Googling and, odsbodikins! discovered that since 1996, poetry and poets have been celebrated at events across the country in April. Interesting to learn how many poets have April birthdays – Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Penn Warren, Heaney, Angelou, Swinburne, Baudelaire, to name a few. Nobel laureate T.S. Eliot wasn’t born in April, but he’s the bard who made it famous as “the cruelest month.” Anyway, it’s heartening to know that for a few weeks every spring, truly talented voices steal some ink from the swill slopped by the shock-jocks of this world. Among the tributes – and indeed one of the largest and most prestigious – is the annual Kingsley Tufts Award ($100,000) and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award ($10,000) conferred in April right here in Southern California by Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Don’t expect to find the bongos, beret and bong set among the contenders, dear hearts. These are serious published poets. The Kingsley is bestowed on an emerging poet; one who has not yet reached the acknowledged pinnacle of his career. And the Kate is earmarked for a poet of genuine promise for a first book. The entries must be a book published during the year.