Rolling Stone reports that Patti Smith, one of rock’s greatest legends and a writer and a poet in her own right will be the recipient of the 2020 PEN America Literary Award. She will receive the honors at the annual gala held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on May 19th, 2020.
As the magazine notes, “PEN America is an organization that unites literature and human rights while protecting creative expression; the annual award is given to an individual making an impact on culture and the human condition.”
Among previous recipients of this award are renowned writers like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, and Margaret Atwood. There is another recipient of this award for 2020 and it is Frank A. Bennack Jr., Executive Vice Chairman of Hearst.
PEN America President Jennifer Egan issued a statement citing reasons why this organization will honor Smith. She said that “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.”