PEN America will honor Elaine May and Jackie Sibblies Drury with career achievement honors at the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards. Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live alum and late night talk show host, will return to emcee the award ceremony, to be held February 28 at New York City’s Town Hall.
Elaine May, a Tony winner for her performance in the play The Waverly Gallery, will receive the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award. May began her career with Nichols, for whom the award is named, as the comedy duo Nichols and May. The two produced three comedy albums and had a Broadway hit with 1960's An Evening With Nichols and May. May's screenplays include the Oscar-nominated Heaven Can Wait and Primary Colors. PEN America is recognizing May for her "titanic legacy as a writer, performer, and director across theatre, film, and television."
Jackie Sibblies Drury has been named the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award, given annually to a mid-career playwright. Drury was selected by a judges panel consisting of Vinson Cunningham, Velina Hasu Houston, and Christian Parker, who state that she “gives voice to the voiceless, exploring freshly investigated worlds from the inside out so that they become part of the natural landscape of the theatre.” Drury received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Fairview.
Kenyan author, playwright, and scholar Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, is the recipient of the the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.
In addition to the career achievement honorees, the ceremony will reveal live the winners of 11 book awards—recognizing exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essay, science writing, translation, and more published in 2021