Readersforum's Blog

May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou Dead at 86

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By Dan Kedmey.

The celebrated poet, author and civil rights activist passed away on Wednesday in her North Carolina home

Maya Angelou, the acclaimed poet, author and civil rights icon who wrote lyrically of her childhood in the Jim Crow south, died Wednesday morning. She was 86, and her death was confirmed by a family representative and by officials at the Winston-Salem mayor’s office in North Carolina, where she had been living.

Angelou had been honored with more than 50 awards, including the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for her collected works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, most notably her groundbreaking memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made history as one of the first nonfiction best-sellers by an African-American woman.

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January 9, 2013

Poet’s Kinship With the President

LookingBy SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

From the moment Barack Obama burst onto the political scene, the poet Richard Blanco, a son of Cuban exiles, says he felt “a spiritual connection” with the man who would become the nation’s 44th president.

Like Mr. Obama, who chronicled his multicultural upbringing in a best-selling autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” Mr. Blanco has been on a quest for personal identity through the written word. He said his affinity for Mr. Obama springs from his own feeling of straddling different worlds; he is Latino and gay (and worked as a civil engineer while pursuing poetry). His poems are laden with longing for the sights and smells of the land his parents left behind.

Now Mr. Obama is about to pluck Mr. Blanco out of the relatively obscure and quiet world of poetry and put him on display before the entire world. On Wednesday the president’s inaugural planners will announce that Mr. Blanco is to be the 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of notables like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.


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July 17, 2012

The Not-So-Silver Screen: Writers Acting in Film

By Mindy Hung

Writers often make cameo appearances in films based on their stories. Occasionally, they play themselves in movies. Some playwrights, by nature of their proximity to actors and the theater, are almost better known for acting than for their writing (Wallace Shawn and Sam Shepard, for example).

There are writers, however, who act in films that have nothing to do with their own writing. Who are some of these authors, and how do they fare on the big screen?

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April 4, 2012

Angelou’s “Remedy of Hope”

Filed under: Today in Literature — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 8:36 am

Maya Angelou

On this day in 1928 Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, as Marguerite Johnson. Angelou has said that her remarkable and varied life — prostitute, dancer, actor, writer, activist, educator, academic — has been made possible by a “remedy of hope” made from reading, courage, and “insouciance.”

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