PEN New England

PEN new england


“Literature is the best thing humanity has. Poetry is the heart of literature, the highest concentration of everything that is the best in the world and in man. It is the only true food for your soul.”  
Lyudmila Ulitskaya



We are a chapter of PEN American Center, part of a global association of writers celebrating literature and defending free expression. We make our home at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

PEN/Song Lyrics Award

About the Award

Long before we were able to articulate our thoughts, we expressed joys and sorrows by singing. Patterns emerged, becoming language and making the world intelligible. That’s why the ancients depicted Orpheus, demi-god and singer, playing his lyre with animals around him in a peaceable kingdom, and it's why we chose the lyre on the award medallion. 

There is an unbroken lineage from that breakthrough Orphic moment, down through all the bards, troubadours, and balladeers to the present. Every literary genre is a tributary of that great river.

THE 2016 Honorees: 
John PrinE, Kathleen Brennan & Tom Waits

We are proud to have honored the 2016 recipients of the PEN/Song Lyrics Award for literary excellence. Pictures and remembrances coming soon... 

Contact Karen Wulf  for information.


Past Honorees