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World Author Website Project


Author Biography
Photo Album/Picture Gallery
Theme Analysis
Imagery Analysis
Style Analysis
Literary Devices Author is Known for Using Within Her Works
Topics of Related Interest
Helpful Resources for Students
Other Writers Influenced by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou's Influence on World Literature
Literary Movement Author Wrote Within
Multimedia Links
Samples of Author's Works
Works Cited

Maya Angelou Criticism from Voices from the Gap
     "The life and work of Maya Angelou are fully intertwined. Angelou's poetry and personal narratives form a larger picture wherein the symbolic Maya Angelou rises to become a point of consciousness for African-American people, especially black women seeking to survive masculine prejudice, in addition to whites hatred of blacks and blacks lack of power. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has generated a wealth of critical literature as well as solid recognition for Maya Angelou. Many liked The Heart of a Woman; it has also received critical acclaim. All of Maya Angelou's autobiographical novels are widely read and taught in schools and universities and continue to inspire lively critical responses. Angelou's poetry and screenplays are less well known, and for the most part critics have not been generous toward them. Some have referred to her poetry as "too simple" and suggested that it is unworthy of inclusion in the canon of American poetry. But Angelou's audience isnt affected by what those critics have to say about her work. Angelou's response to those critics may be, "If that canon, that body of literature written largely by white men, acknowledges my work, then well and good. I accept this honor"
Maya Angelou Criticism from Nancy Imelda Schafer ( Editor in Chief) of  Poetry Empire

     "Maya Angelou, poet, was among the first African-American women to hit the bestsellers lists with her "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," held the Great Hall audience spellbound with stories of her own childhood. She ranged from story to poem to song and back again, and her theme was love and the universality of all lives. "The honorary duty of a human being is to love," Angelou said. She spoke of her early love for William Shakespeare's works, and offered her audience excerpts from the poems of several African-Americans, including James Weldon Johnson and Paul Lawrence Dunbar. But always, she came back to love - and humanity. "I am human," Angelou said, quoting from her own work, "and nothing human can be alien to me."

Maya Angelou Criticism from Ken Kelly ( Foundation For National Progress)

     "Maya Angelou speaks in the lilting cadence of the dancer she was trained to be. She moves with the sure grace of the poet she was born to be. She laughs with crackling exuberance, as she did during our interview--the first time she has talked about President Clinton since his inauguration--and with her low, resonant, emphatic voice she fills the room; it overflows. Transcendent as an actor, teacher, playwright, civil rights activist, and much more, Dr. Angelou is a potent mix of the spiritual and the earthy"