BOSTON — Luminaries from the film, music and writing world honored Tom Waits and folk singer John Prine for their songwriting at a ceremony filled with words and song.

Waits’ wife, Kathleen Brennan, also was honored.

John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello and Roseanne Cash took turns performing renditions of the artists’ music at the Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Awards on Monday at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Author Colum McCann, director Jim Jarmusch and country singer Sturgill Simpson reflected on the artists’ accomplishments in speeches.

Waits and Prine each performed a song from their long repertoires when accepting their awards. Prine said he’s “stunned” and honored by the award, bestowed biennially by the writers’ group PEN New England.

McCann described Waits and Brennan as finding out “what others have not quite fathomed yet.”

Waits and Prine, now in their late 60s, emerged in the 1970s and have been performing for decades.

Prine wrote many songs that have become folk and country standards.

Cash, joined by Costello on acoustic guitar, performed one of those, “Hello in There,” about old age and loneliness, from Prine’s 1971 debut album.