Patti Smith To Receive PEN America Literary Service Award

PEN America will honor poet, artist and rocker Patti Smith with The PEN America Literary Service Award at PEN’s annual gala at The American Museum of Natural History in New York on May 19.

“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,” PEN President Jennifer Egan said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

Smith last year released a memoir titled “Year of the Monkey,” a follow up to “Just Kids” (2010), a reflection on her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

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