2020 PEN America Literary Gala

2019 PEN Literary Gala, May 21, 2019, American Museum Of Natural History © Beowulf Sheehan And Taylor Bissey/PEN America

2019 PEN Literary Gala. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan and Taylor Bissey/PEN America

The PEN America Literary Gala is an extraordinary annual event that celebrates freedom of expression worldwide and the power of books and writing to shape democratic and humane values. It is a highlight of the New York literary and social calendars, with more than 100 distinguished writers and more than 800 guests gathered for a lively celebration. The evening is in turn moving and exhilarating, championing PEN America’s human rights and free expression programming.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street, New York City

6:00pm VIP Reception | 6:30pm Cocktail Reception | 7:30pm Awards & Dinner

2020 Honorees

Xu Zhiyong

Xu Zhiyong

PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Patti Smith

PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Frank Bennack

Frank A. Bennack, Jr.

Corporate Honoree

Gala Committee Co-Chairs
Markus Dohle • Roxanne Donovan • Sean Kelly • Anya Salama

Gala Committee
Dennis Abboud • Mila Atmos • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson • Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Morgan Blank • Jennifer Finney Boylan • Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • Aidan Donnelly Rowley • Patricia Duff • Jeanmarie Fenrich • Sheree and Jerry Friedman • Judith Greenberg • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger • Tracy Higgins • Zachary Karabell • Cindi Leive • Sandra Leong • Margaret Munzer Loeb • Yvonne Marsh • Jay McInerney • Alexandra Munroe •
Claire Paull • Holly Peterson • Michael Pietsch • Theresa Rebeck • Alix L.L. Ritchie • Andrew Solomon • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba

2019 Literary Gala Master of Ceremonies & Honorees

Master of Ceremonies
John Oliver

Publisher Honoree
Richard Robinson
Chairman and CEO, Scholastic

Literary Service Award
Bob Woodward

PEN Courage Award
Anita Hill

PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award
Nouf Abdulaziz, Loujain Al-Hathloul, and Eman Al-Nafjan