Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is poised to receive the 2017 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award this spring.
Meryl Streep, who starred in the 2014 film adaptation of Sondheim's iconic musical Into the Woods, will present the prize to Sondheim at PEN America's annual literary gala on April 25 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
"Stephen Sondheim's oeuvre is profoundly literary in its elegiac reaching for the truth of who we are, how we love and how we strive to locate meaning in our work," author Andrew Solomon, president of PEN America, said in a statement. "He will be the first composer-lyricist to receive this award, which recognizes his nuanced insight into human character. His support for a new generation of writers makes him a literary citizen of the first order."
Sondheim, 86, is an eight-time Tony Award-winner known for his musicals A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.