LeVar Burton Is Our Inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Award News, Voices from PEN/Faulkner

We are excited to announce that LeVar Burton, award-winning actor and longtime host of Reading Rainbow, has been named the inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion. Launched in conjunction with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s 40th Anniversary, this annual commendation will recognize devoted literary advocacy and a commitment to inspiring new generations of readers and writers.

LeVar Burton Headshot

“For decades, LeVar Burton has inspired readers all over the world,” said PEN/Faulkner’s Executive Director, Gwydion Suilebhan. “He has brought stories to life in a magical and meaningful way for generations of book-lovers, and his work has made a lasting, positive impact in literature.”

“I come from a family for whom service to others is the highest possible calling,” LeVar Burton said. “Whatever efforts I have made toward advancing the cause of literacy, give honor to my mother, Erma Gene Christian, my first teacher and from whom I have inherited my love for books and reading. As we move forward out of a time when alternative facts and mendacious propaganda shaped public opinion, the work you do through the PEN/Faulkner Award, and your committed investment in DC schools, has never been more important. I couldn’t be more honored to be the inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion.”

PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion LeVar Burton will be honored, along with this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner and finalists, in a virtual celebration to be held on May 10, 2021Click here for more information.

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