President Honors Two Yaddo Writers
Washington, D.C. (March 2, 2011) —
Two Yaddo writers — Donald Hall and Philip Roth — are among 20 artists and organizations who will be honored today as President Obama presents the National Medals of Arts and the National Humanities Medals in a White House ceremony.
Hall, former U.S. Poet Laureate, will receive a National Medal of Arts, along with author Harper Lee; actress Meryl Streep; musicians Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, James Taylor and Van Cliburn; sculptor Mark di Suvero; theater champion Robert Brustein; and the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival organization.
Roth, author of 24 novels and a previous National Medal of Arts recipient, will be awarded the National Humanities Medal. Other American icons who will be similarly recognized are writer Joyce Carol Oates; poet Wendell Berry; scholars Jacques Barzun, Bernard Bailyn, Roberto Gonz´lez Echevarria, Arnold Rampersad, and Gordon Wood; Stanley Nider Katz, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, and Daniel Aaron, founding president of the Library of America.
The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities. Up to 12 medals can be awarded annually.