Maya Angelou was an author, poet, singer, screen director, playwright, and dancer. In 1969 she published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of her autobiographical works, for which she is best known. Angelou went on to publish four more books of memoirs, as well as many volumes of poetry. In 1993 she read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration ceremony for President Bill Clinton. Dr. Angelou held the Z. Smith Reynolds chaired professorship in American Studies at Wake Forest University from 1982 until her death in 2014.

Angelou is celebrated every spring with a Winston-Salem community birthday party in her honor. For the past several years, this event has been held on the first weekend in April at Bailey Park near the WF Innovation Quarter, and has included speakers, games, cake, and popup exhibits.

While the pandemic put a halt to the traditional 2020 planning, Special Collections & Archives still created a subject guide, compiling all of our resources for anyone wishing to research and understand the life, career, and writings of Dr. Angelou. The guide includes links to archives and manuscript collections containing correspondence and information; interviews, presentations, and recordings, and a bibliography of her works located in both ZSR and SCA.