Last week, the country and the state lost one of its great poets, Maya Angelou. To celebrate her life and legacy, we’ve assembled just a few of the resources documenting her extraordinary life and work:
Books at Ross Pendergraft Library:
- I know why the caged bird sings (autobiography, available as an ebook)
- Critical companion to Maya Angelou : a literary reference to her life and work (criticism)*
- Just give me a cool drink of water ‘fore I diiie (poems)*
- Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now (essays)*
*These books are located on the first floor at the display table near the south entrance.
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas (biographical entry)
- Literature Online (Links to her biographies, criticism, journal articles, and bibliographies)
- A recorded reading of “Still I Rise” from National Public Radio
- A Woman’s Life A concert arrangment composed by Richard Danielpour, performed by soprano Angela Brown with lyrics by Maya Angelou. Available through Naxos Music Library.
- Did you know she was a Calypso singer? Here is “Neighbour, Neighbour” from her album, Miss Calypso:
Her last scheduled visit to Arkansas would’ve occurred on April 11th, 2014 at the Fayetteville Public Library. However, she was forced to cancel the appearance for health reasons, and issued a statement expressing her apology and her deeply profound and personal reflections on Arkansas:
I learned in Arkansas at a very young age from my grandmother who taught me, ‘when you learn, teach and when you get, give’.
In Arkansas I also learned not to complain. I was taught that there are people all over the world who have less than I have and who would give anything for a portion of my possessions. They went to sleep last night as I went to sleep and they never awakened. Their beds have become their cooling boards and their blankets have become their winding sheets and they would give anything and everything for what I was complaining about.
In Arkansas, I learned to trust love, not the romance of it, but the heart of it. In Arkansas I learned to have respect for friendship, to honor it, to trust it and to build it.
The former poet, author, civil rights activist, actress, screenplay writer, cable car conductor, Calypso singer, film director, dancer, newspaper editor, radio voice, cocktail waitress, professor, and Arkansan died on May 28th, at the age of 86.