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Credit: Beni Kohler


Patti Smith will receive the 2020 PEN Literary Service Award

The literary awards for Patti Smith are starting to pile up, as the singer, poet and respected author, will receive this year’s PEN Literary Service Award.

The award has previously been awarded to acclaimed authors Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen King.

Each year the PEN Literary Service Award recognises an author who writes and accurately shares “the human condition.” It’s another recognition of the singer’s evolution into long-form prose.

When looking back at Smiths’ catalogue of releases it’s hard to argue. Her widely adored memoir about her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids was followed by her recently released Year of the Monkey.

Smith will receive the award at PEN’s annual gala on May 19th, it will take place at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.