2019 PEN Pinter Prize: Lemn Sissay

A photograph of Lemn Sissay sitting on a blue chair, taken by Hamish Brown

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The 2019 PEN Pinter Prize is awarded to Lemn Sissay

The 2019 PEN Pinter Prize is awarded to poet, performer, playwright, artist and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, who delivers an address for the occasion. 

A limited edition booklet of the lecture published by Faber & Faber is available to the audience at the event. 

The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature, in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter. 

The prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.

Lemn Sissay was chosen by this year’s judges: writer, translator and chair of English PEN Maureen Freely; culture correspondent at The Economist Fiammetta Rocco and author Niven Govinden. 

The prize is shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty, selected by Lemn Sissay from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. 

The co-winner is also announced at the event, where they accept their prize alongside Lemn Sissay.

In partnership with English PEN

Image: Lemn Sissay © Hamist Brown


Name: 2019 PEN Pinter Prize: Lemn Sissay
Where: Knowledge Centre
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