PEN Pinter Prize: Linton Kwesi Johnson

Watch again now.
This event took place on: 12 October 2020.

Linton Kwesi Johnson is presented with the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize.

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’.

Linton Kwesi Johnson was chosen by this year’s judges; The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; Dialogue Books Publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove, and author Max Porter. The judges said of Johnson: ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson is a poet, reggae icon, academic and campaigner, whose impact on the cultural landscape over the last half century has been colossal and multi-generational. His political ferocity and his tireless scrutiny of history are truly Pinteresque, as is the humour with which he pursues them.’

The prize will be 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 Linton Kwesi Johnson from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson.

This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.

Hay Festival: This Is How We Come Back Stronger

This event took place on: June 4, 8pm.

Everything changed in spring 2020, when life around the world retreated behind closed doors and gender inequalities and systemic racism were brought to new and shocking prominence. Women of all backgrounds and experiences were disproportionately affected by the crisis. Essential debate and action was, for a time, silenced. Then we re-emerged in protest and started to rethink our fight for equality. So, what happens now? This book is a unique collection of essays, interviews, and fiction by feminist writers.

In End State: 9 Ways in Which Society is Broken and how we fix it, James Plunkett argues that this can be a moment not of despair, but of historic opportunity – a chance to rethink, renew, and reform some of the most fundamental ways we organise society.

Contributor Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding, is joined by comedian Francesca Martinez, activist and author Gina Miller, and James Plunkett, Executive Director of Citizens Advice.

This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.

BUY THE BOOK FOR THIS EVENT

<a href="https://www.hayfestival.com/p-17593-this-is-how-we-come-back-stronger-feminist-writers-on-turning-crisis-into-change.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Is How We Come Back Stronger</a>

<a href="https://www.hayfestival.com/p-17662-end-state-9-ways-society-is-broken-and-how-we-can-fix-it.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">End State: 9 Ways Society is Broken and How We Fix It</a>

Feedback