Tag: music awards

Patti Smith Set to Receive PEN America Literary Service Award

Punk poet laureate Patti Smith is set to receive the PEN America Literary Service award at this year’s PEN America Literary Gala. Since the seventies, Smith has had a way with words, writing books, poems, and songs. Her work became widely recognized and she soon became a role model for many. She will receive this year’s Literary Service award for her contributions to the literary world and her influence on those who admire her to experience the transformative experience of reading and writing. 


PEN president Jennifer Egan writes of Smith in a statement to the press, “In all of Patti Smith’s thrilling incarnations – rock goddess, poet, eloquent witness to the Bohemian New York of her youth – she has testified to the transformative power of literature in her own life, and used her stardom to encourage reading and writing in the legions who revere her. A polestar of my own teenage years, she set an example of badass female artistry, coupled with deeply principled humanity, that I’m still trying to live up to.” Patti Smith has been highly influential in both the literary and music world and has been recognized for her contributions among both, often fusing the two together in her work. In 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. Later that year, she was number forty-seven in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. 

image via The Guardian

The PEN America Literary Gala will be held on May 19 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The PEN America Literary Awards honors those with outstanding voices in literature across a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. The awards celebrate freedom of expression through writing and its power to shape human values. 

Smith follows in the footsteps of last year’s Literary Service award recipient Bob Woodward, one of the main reporters who helped to expose the Watergate Scandal in 1972.


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 Featured image via Vanity Fair