The National Book Foundation will present lifetime achievement awards to Robert A. Caro, the journalist and biographer, and Cave Canem, the literary center dedicated to black American poetry, at the National Book Awards ceremony on November 16 in New York.
Caro, best known for his multivolume biography of Lyndon Johnson and his biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, will receive the 29th annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Prior recipients include Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Maxine Hong Kingston, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Toni Morrison.
“Robert Caro has long been one of our most treasured biographers,” David Steinberger, chairman of the board of directors of the National Book Foundation, said in a statement. “His ability to understand power, privilege, and the unique ways in which that power has shaped American government and American cities throughout the 20th century is a road map that will endure because of its depth, breadth, and import, and we are honored to have the privilege to present him with this medal.”
Cave Canem, founded in 1996 by poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, will receive the 12th annual Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Prior recipients include Dr. Maya Angelou, Dave Eggers, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, James Patterson, and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.
"Cave Canem’s innovative and effective literary activism has been transformative to the world of letters," NBF executive director Lisa Lucas said in a statement. "Their ongoing commitment to provide supportive channels for African American poets to thrive has yielded works that enrich the world’s literary culture."