TRAVERSE CITY — Hometown filmmaker Michael Moore is this year's recipient of the John Steinbeck Award.
The award is given to writers and artists whose work captures Steinbeck's spirit of empathy, commitment to democratic values and belief in the dignity of people who by circumstance are pushed to the fringes of society. The Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University in California this week named Moore as the latest award recipient.
Past recipients include Arthur Miller, Garrison Keillor, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen and Sean Penn.
Moore is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Traverse City Film Festival. His films include "Capitalism: A Love Story," "Roger & Me," "Sicko," "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine."
Steinbeck penned the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Grapes of Wrath," along with other classics such as "East of Eden" and the novella "Of Mice and Men."
Thomas Steinbeck, author and son of John Steinbeck, said Moore deserves the award named for his father.
"Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time," he said in a written statement.
Moore will receive the award Oct. 14 during a benefit event for the Center for Steinbeck Studies.