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Patti Smith to receive PEN America Literary Service Award

Legendary rock poet Patti Smith will be honored with PEN America Literary Service Award.

Patti Smith

Smith will receive the award at the organization’s annual gala, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on May 19th, writes Rolling Stone.

PEN America is an organization that unites human rights and literature while emphasizing creative expression. The annual award is given to an individual making an impact on culture and the human condition.

“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.”

Smith has a slew of West Coast performances lined up in March, with shows at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles on March 6th and two nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco on March 8th and 9th. After a performance at Seattle’s Paramount Theater, she’ll perform in Washington, DC before heading to Australia and Europe.

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