Each year the Ernest Hemingway Foundation and PEN New England award the PEN Hemingway prize for the year's best first work of fiction. The award is presented at a gala reception at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts. This year we are pleased to present the keynote address of Colm Tóibín, who spoke at the ceremony honoring 2013 PEN Hemingway award winner Kevin Powers and his novel The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown, 2012). Tóibín is an Irish novelist, essayist, short story writer, and poet, perhaps best known as author of the novel The Master, short-listed for the Booker Prize and chosen as one of the ten best books of 2004 by the New York Times. He is a member of the Royal Society of Literature and winner of the 2011 Irish PEN Award for his contributions to Irish literature. A transcript of his address follows.