The PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award
was presented each spring to a U.S. resident who has fought courageously, despite adversity, to safeguard the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...
right to freedom of expression as it applies to the written word. Sponsored by PEN American Center
PEN American Center , founded in 1922 and based in New York City, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. The Center has a membership of 3,300 writers, editors, and translators...
and Newman's Own
Newman's Own is a food company and for-profit corporation founded by actor Paul Newman and author A. E. Hotchner in 1982. Newman received all of the profits from product sales and donated 100% of the proceeds, after taxes, to various educational and charitable organizations of his own selection...
, a cash prize of $20,000 was awarded.http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/176
The award ended in 2006 and was succeeded by the PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award
The PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award is presented each spring to a U.S. resident who has fought courageously, despite adversity, to safeguard the First Amendment right to freedom of expression as it applies to the written word. Sponsored by PEN American Center and Katherine Anne...
- C. Clark Kissinger
C. Clark Kissinger was the National Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society in 1964-65. He visited the People's Republic of China twice during the Cultural Revolution, and is a devoted Maoist. His writings frequently appear in Revolution, journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA...
- Sibel Edmonds
Sibel Deniz Edmonds is a Turkish-American former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition...
- Joan Airoldi
Joan Airoldi is the director of the Whatcom County Library System in Washington State.-Resisted targeting of library patron under the Patriot Act:...
- a librarian and library director in rural Washington State who challenged an FBI effort to search patron records under the Library Awareness Program
In the 1980s the FBI began a program called the “Library Awareness Program”.This program was designed as a counterintelligence effort that would provide information to the FBI including the names and reading habits of users of many different libraries. The FBI was particularly interested in...
- Barbara Parsons Lane, one of eight incarcerated writers who were sued by the State of Connecticut after contributing to Couldn't Keep It To Myself: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters, a moving anthology of stories and essays by women who participated in a creative writing workshop led by Wally Lamb
Wally Lamb is an American author known as the writer of the novels She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, both of which were selected for Oprah's Book Club.Lamb was born in Norwich, Connecticut...
at York Correctional Institute.
- Jerilynn Adams Williams a Texas librarian who successfully turned back an attempt to remove books from circulation at Montgomery County public libraries.
- Vanessa Leggett, freelance writer who was jailed in a federal detention center in Texas for 168 days for refusing to bow to a sweeping subpoena of confidential source materials.
- Deloris Wilson, high school librarian in West Monroe, Louisiana
West Monroe is a city in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 13,250 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area....
who fought to preserve access to library materials banned for sexual content.
- - Alberto Sarrain, Cuban-émigré theater producer who challenged Miami-Dade County's ban on public funding to arts organizations performing work by artists currently living in Cuba.
- Dr. William Holda, President, Kilgore College
Kilgore College is a community college located in Kilgore, Texas. It has an annual enrollment of more than 5000 students.The school was established in 1935 at the height of the East Texas oil boom...
, who defended the production of Tony Kushner
Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, and co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film, Munich.-Life and career:Kushner was born...
's play Angels in America
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is the 1993 Pulitzer Prize winning play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. It has been made into both a television miniseries and an opera by Peter Eötvös.-Characters:...
in Kilgore, Texas.
- Releah Lent, Florida high school teacher and student newspaper advisor who has struggled to defend literature in the classroom and press freedom for students.
- Terrilyn Simpson, Maine writer and journalist harassed for her attempts to cover local industrial health hazards.
- Nancy Hsu Fleming, defeated a corporation's attempt to silence her written concerns about possible groundwater contamination caused by a local landfill.
- Cissy Lacks, Missouri high school Creative Writing teacher fired for "failure to censor her students' creative expression."
- Joyce Meskis, Denver bookstore owner who successfully challenged a Colorado law barring stores open to children from selling novels and art books with sexual content, and who continued to sell Salman Rushdie
's The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...
in 1989, donating 25% of proceeds to anticensorship organizations.
- Carole Marlowe, Arizona drama teacher who resisted district censorship of a play selected for student production.
- Claudia Johnson restored literary classics--including Steinbeck, Chaucer, Aristophanes-- that had been banned from Florida classrooms; defended student production of A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes...