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John Ashbery and Mitchell Kaplan to Receive Lifetime Achievemen​t Awards

Passing along this announcement from the National Book Foundation:

“We are pleased to announce that internationally renowned poet John Ashbery will receive the 2011 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 62nd National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 in New York City. Also that evening, Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of the Miami International Book Fair, will receive the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Actor, writer, and musician John Lithgow will host the event.

“Ashbery is the twenty-first recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, which was established to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement. Previous recipients include Toni Morrison, John Updike, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gore Vidal, and Tom Wolfe. This year’s ceremony marks the seventh year that the Foundation has presented the Literarian Award, which was established to recognize an individual whose work has enhanced the literary world during a lifetime of service. Previous recipients include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein, Terry Gross, Barney Rosset, Dave Eggers, and Joan Ganz Cooney.

“For more information about the awards and this year’s recipients, visit”