American poet and autobiographer.
Dates of Humanities Series Lectures: 15 March, 1984; 18 March, 1985.
Maya Angelou is best known for her six-volume autobiographical memoirs, the first being the powerful I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) which describes her growing up in the 1930s American South. Angelou is also a distinguished poet as well as a writer of plays, screenplays, and TV scripts. She has worked in the theater as an actress, singer, dancer, director and producer. In 1981, Angelou was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
This is Angelou’s concluding stanza of “A Brave and Startling Truth”, a poem written and delivered in honor of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations:
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
Read more about Maya Angelou from Literature Online.
View an interview with Angelou regarding influences upon her work from Literature Resource Center.