(AP) Bob Dylan couldn't be there to receive his latest award, but his presence was felt in both letter and spirit.
Dylan was among those inducted Wednesday into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an elite institution. Members attending the ceremony included E.L. Doctorow, Chuck Close and John Ashbery.
Dylan, voted in as an honorary member, has been busy touring, but he did provide a statement thanking the academy and adding that he looked "forward to meeting all of you, sometime soon."
The singer-songwriter was later invoked during the keynote speech by Michael Chabon ('CHAY-bin), the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Chabon spoke passionately of his immersion in rock lyrics and cited Dylan as a singular influence on his work.