Simon, Quinn receive honors

NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Simon doesn’t care much for requests, but he might ask you to sing along.

The singer-songwriter’s latest honor came from the Poetry Society of America, which celebrated him Tuesday during a dinner benefit at the New York Botanical Garden.

Simon and longtime poetry editor Alice Quinn were the guests of honor, their careers both lasting for decades and making them revered names among lovers of words.

Quinn has championed Sharon Olds, Edward Hirsch and countless other poets as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, the poetry editor at The New Yorker (from 1987 to 2007) and an editor at Alfred A. Knopf.

Quinn noted that Simon had been a supporter of the poetry society and remembered seeing him in the offices of Knopf, which published a book of his lyrics. Simon was introduced by former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, who noted that Simon was among the first rock songwriters to use the word “poetry” in a song (“I Am a Rock”).

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