Author Stephen King, whose list of awards already takes up eight pages on his website, will be honored next week with one of the biggest, the National Medal of Arts. President Barack Obama, who makes the final ruling on who gets the awards, is scheduled to give him the 2014 award at a ceremony on Thursday at the White House.

The Portland native, who has published over 65 books, is cited by the National Endowment for the Arts for the way he combines “his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature.” The citation, to be read by the president with the first lady looking on, goes on to say, “For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world.”

Via Twitter on Thursday, King pronounced himself “amazed and grateful” for the award. An hour later, he tweeted on an unrelated matter: the imprisonment of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to obey the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples. “Kim Davis has gotten exactly what she wanted: martyrdom,” King wrote.

It was a reminder of the way King has always conducted himself – unafraid of being outspoken, especially on political matters. In last year’s election, he supported former ACLU head Shenna Bellows in her unsuccessful campaign to unseat incumbent Sen. Susan Collins. He once called Gov. Paul LePage a “stone brain” and referred to him as “Moe,” as in the most unpleasant of The Three Stooges. This March, he and LePage got into a public dust-up after LePage intimated that King does not pay Maine taxes. King told the Portland Press Herald that he and his wife, Tabitha, paid about $1.4 million in Maine taxes in 2013 and likely the same in 2014.

Although King writes primarily in a popular genre – horror – that has not, traditionally, received much respect from the literary establishment, he has gained great recognition as a master of his craft. He now regularly publishes short stories in that toniest of magazines, The New Yorker, and in 2013 he received the National Book Awards medal for distinguished contribution to American letters. He and Tabitha, also a writer, have spawned a literary dynasty. His sons Owen and Joe are both novelists. (Joe publishes under the name Joe Hill.) Owen’s wife is the writer Kelly Braffet.

Other recipients of the award include actress Sally Field, composer and singer Meredith Monk, artist John Baldessari and writer Tobias Wolff, the author of “This Boy’s Life.” Writer Jhumpa Lahiri will be presented with a 2014 National Humanities Medal at the same ceremony.

The National Endowment for the Arts manages the nomination process on behalf of the White House. Each year, the arts endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, the NEA’s presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the president, who selects the recipients.

The official press release did not mention whether Obama is more of a fan of “Carrie” or “The Shining.”

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