One of the most famous poets and authors of the century, Maya Angelou is set to be the recipient of this year’s Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community. The news was announced by the National Book Foundation last week.
The Book Foundation’s 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.”
Angelou, most known as the author of “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” has previously been celebrated with several different awards in her lifetime. She received three Grammys for best spoken word album, a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. She also read her poem, On the Pulse of the Morning, which she recited in 1993 at President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural, quickly sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
Unfortunately, Angelou, who is currently 85 years old, has been in declining health and is expected to only briefly appear at the awards ceremony this year.