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Patti Smith is being honoured with a prestigious literary award

Patti Smith – rocker, author, and pop culture icon extraordinaire – is being honoured by PEN America, receiving their 2020 Literary Service Award.

The award, which recognises authors whose writing explores the human condition, has previously gone to the likes of Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen King.

patti smith

Patti Smith is being honoured with the prestigious 2020 PEN Literary Service Award, with the organisation labelling her an “example of badass female artistry”.

PEN America is an organisation that seeks to unite literature and human rights. The annual PEN America Literary Service Award is given to someone who is making an impact on “culture and the human condition”.

Speaking on the award, PEN President Jennifer Egan described in a statement:

“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 continued, “she set an example of badass female artistry, coupled with deeply principled humanity, that I’m still trying to live up to.” 

Last year Patti Smith released her latest book Year of the Monkey. It followed on from her beloved and critically-acclaimed 2010 memoir, Just Kids, as well as her 2015 follow-up, M Train. 

Just Kids follows Smiths’ adventures with friend and photographer Robbert Mapplethorpe in the ’60s and ’70s.

Smith recently appeared on The Tonight Show, covering Neil Young‘s After The Goldrush. She will also be appearing in Australia later this year for Bluesfest, accompanied by a string of sideshows.

In other news, this week iconic guitarist and long time member of the Patti Smith Group, Ivan Král, passed away.

Check out her Australian tour dates below and head here for more info.

Patti Smith Tour Dates

Wednesday 15th April 2020: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Thursday 16th April 2020: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday 21st April 2020: The Forum, Melbourne
Wednesday 22nd April 2020: The Forum, Melbourne
Saturday 25th April 2020: Town Hall, Christchurch NZ
Monday 27th April 2020: Town Hall, Auckland NZ
+Also performing at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2020