The PEN Center USA awards keyed into a cultural moment

Margaret Atwood accepts the lifetime achievement award at the 27th annual PEN Center USA Literary Awards. (Matt Sayles/Invision for Pen Center USA/Associate Press) A clean-shaven Nick Offerman kicked off the 27th annual PEN Center USA Literary Awards, held Friday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, with a nod to the nonprofit’s defense of free speech and “the importance it places on the freedom for artists to express themselves.” To wit: Should he or anyone else care to refer to the president of the United States as “an incompetent, degenerate boob” or “a cartoon slug made of Cheeto dust,” Offerman deadpanned, “PEN Center will fight for your ability to do so.” Few honorees took him up on it, but that’s not to say the evening lacked color: The rounds of rousing acceptance speeches embodied the inspiring work for which the festival’s authors and journalists were honored. Even the “Parks and Recreation” star seemed genuinely in awe of the talent in the room, which included a number of women recognized in what feels like a cultural moment attuned to the importance of exercising — and acknowledging — their voices. Presenting Margaret Atwood the Lifetime Achievement Award, Cecile Richards, president and chief […]

© 2017, Moderator. All rights reserved.