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Awards & Honors

The Library of Congress sponsors privately endowed programs that honor achievement in the humanities and creativity. Through these awards and prizes, the world's greatest repository of human creativity honors those who have advanced and embodied the ideals of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, scholarship and exuberance.

Living Legends

Established during its Bicentennial celebration in 2000, the Library of Congress' "Living Legend" award is selected by the Library's curators and subject specialists to honor artists, writers, activists, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures and public servants who have made significant contributions to America's diverse cultural, scientific and social heritage.

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Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and serves from October to May. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. In making the appointment, the Librarian consults with former appointees, the current laureate and distinguished poetry critics.

Visit the Poetry Web Site to learn more about the position

Kluge Prize

Endowed by Library benefactor John W. Kluge, the Kluge Prize rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes. Such disciplines include history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. The award is at the financial level of the Nobel awards.

Visit the Kluge Web Site to learn more about the prize

Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.

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Fiction Prize

The Library of Congress Lifetime Achievement Award for the Writing of Fiction was established in 2008 to honor a career dedicated to the literary arts. The award recognizes the enduring achievements of its recipient and his or her dedication to embodying the human spirit in the pages of fiction.

View All Fiction Prizes

National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award

Winners of the National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award. Past winners include Toni Morrison, Isabel Allende, and John Grisham.

View All National Book Festival Creative Achievement Awards

The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people. Authoris Katherine Paterson and Jon Scieszka have held the title.

Visit the website to learn more about the National Ambassador