Maya Angelou speaks during the AARP Magazine's 2011 Inspire Awards at Ronald Reagan Building on December 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. Photo: Getty Images/Kris Connor

Celebrated author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou has been awarded two major literary awards this year. Earlier this month the National Book Foundation announced that Angelou will receive the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, her first major prize. Last Thursday, the Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony announced they would be awarding Angelou a lifetime acheivement award. Author Junot Díaz is also being honored with a distinguished writing prize by the Mailer Center this year.

Best known for her influential autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which paved the way for generations of writers to explore issues of race, gender, and sexual violence, Angelou published her seventh autobiography titled "Mom & Me & Momthis year at age 85.