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Kris Kristofferson and Randy Newman honored by PEN New England

Awards ceremonies can sometimes feel perfunctory and off-putting, an occasion to congratulate someone not for the art they create but for the commercial success they enjoy.

There was none of that at Monday’s ceremony at the JFK Library honoring two of America’s greatest lyricists. Indeed, during the 90-minute celebration of songwriters Kris Kristofferson and Randy Newman, there was not a mention of units sold or gold records or Billboard charts. That would be crass.

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