The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced that it would award its 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to Dr. Maya Angelou at the 64th National Book Awards Ceremony in New York on November 20 in New York.
The foundation said:
“Dr. Angelou is a globally revered author and humanitarian. She is best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a groundbreaking autobiography that opened new literary avenues for the American memoir. Angelou’s numerous writings explore subjects such as identity, rape, racism, literacy, the importance of family, and the quest for independence.”
Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Mo, Angelou grew up in Stamps, Ark. In 1969, with the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou rose to international prominence. In 2013, at the age of 85, Angelou published her seventh autobiography, Mom & Me & Mom. She has written more than 30 best sellers, in fiction, nonfiction and verse.
Dr. Angelou has also published five books of poetry, including I Shall Not Be Moved, three books of essays, including Letter to My Daughter, a children’s book, and six long-form poems, including “Mother” and “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she read at the 1992 presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton. She was only the second poet in history to read a poem at a presidential inauguration. The first was Robert Frost, who did so for John F. Kennedy’s in 1961.
She has also been active in dance, theater and social causes and has won numerous awards and honorary degrees.. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Maya Angelou is featured in several books on Diversebooks.net, including:
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Should social and emotional learning be incorporated into educational curricula?