Angelou will join the distinguished list of past recipients including poet and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti—the very first honoree in 2005, writer/publisher Dave Eggers in 2009, and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. in 2012.
According to the National Book Foundation, the Literarian Award is a lifetime achievement award conferred upon individuals "...whose life and work exemplify the goals of the National Book Foundation to expand the audience for literature and to enhance the cultural value of literature in America."
Maya Angelou's celebrated career includes a National Book Award nomination for her popular 1969 memoir “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” and a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her 1971 collection of poetry “Just Give Me A Cool Drink Of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.”
In 2011, Angelou received the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian accolade.
National Book Foundation Executive Director Harold Augenbraum said in a statement:
Dr. Angelou's body of work transcends the words on the page. She has been on the front lines of history and the fight for social justice and decade after decade remains a symbol of the redemptive power of literature in the contemporary world."
Although her health has been frail, Angelou is expected to attend the Nov. 20th awards dinner and ceremony.
Kevin Don Porter is the author of MISSING—a humorous, yet creepy, mystery novel available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kevindonporter. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com.