Lionel Cironneau, Associated Press
Bob Dylan

Thanks to Bob Dylan, rock 'n' roll has finally broken through the Pulitzer wall.

Dylan, the most acclaimed and influential songwriter of the past half-century, who more than anyone brought rock from the streets to the lecture hall, received an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Monday, cited for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."

It was the first time Pulitzer judges, who have long favored classical music and, more recently, jazz, recognized an art form once dismissed as barbaric, even subversive.

Long after most of his contemporaries either died, left the business or held on by the ties of nostalgia, Dylan continues to tour almost continuously and release highly regarded CDs, most recently "Modern Times."