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 Maya Angelou plans lecture at SRU 




Feb. 12, 2009

Contact: K.E. Schwab  



Maya Angelou plans lecture at Slippery Rock University 


EDITOR'S NOTE: ANGELOU TICKET UPDATE: All tickets to the 7 p.m. April 18 lecture by Maya Angelou have been distributed. No additional public or student tickets will be available for the University Program Board event planned for the University Union. Angelou is an accomplished poet, award-winning writer, journalist, activist, performer, dancer actress, director and teacher. 



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Maya Angelou, an accomplished poet, award-winning writer, journalist, activist, performer, dancer, actress, director and teacher, will lecture at 7 p.m. April 18 at Slippery Rock University as part of the University Program Board Lecture Series program.

Her address will be presented in the University Union.

Angelou, a three-time Grammy Award winner for her autobiographical spoken-word recordings, was born in St. Louis and reared in Stamps, Ark. She later lived in San Francisco and now makes her home in Harlem, N.Y., and Winston-Salem, N.C.

A highlight of her career was a request from then President-elect Bill Clinton to write and deliver a poem for his 1993 inauguration. She titled the work "On the Pulse of Morning."       

"Ms. Angelou is the biggest name person ever to come to SRU outside of the field of music," said Camille Manley, UPB vice president for lectures who is organizing the visit. "I have loved her poetry and her writing since I was exposed to her in elementary school and I studied her works ever since. I thought it would be a major event to bring her to campus," Manley said.

"I have always believed SRU could bring bigger name lecturers to campus and Ms. Angelo certain fills that bill," Manley said. Work to organize the visit began last semester.

In addition to Angelou's bestselling autobiographies, beginning with "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which remained on The New York Times' Paperback Nonfiction Best-Seller List for two years, she is the author of "Letter to My Daughter," several poetry collections, including "Shall Not Be Moved" and "Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?" and a number of books for young readers, including "Kofi and His Magic," "My Painted House," "My Friendly Chicken and Me," and the "Maya's World" series. 

"The Complete Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou" was released in 2004. Her "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die," published in 1971, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Angelou has also written a number of plays, including "Cabaret for Freedom," "The Least of These," "Gettin' Up Stayed on My Mind," "Ajax," "And Still I Rise" and "Moon on a Rainbow Shawl." Her screenplay credits include "George, Georgia" and "All Day Long." She was also a writer for the Oprah Winfrey series "Brewster Place" and has appeared in numerous documentaries and television programs, including the "Assignment America" series and the popular "Touched by an Angel." 

           Her stage work includes George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," "The Blacks," "Mother Courage," "Medea," "Look Away," "How to Make an American Quilt," "Down on the Delta," "Madea's Family Reunion" and an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Alex Haley's "Roots."

           Her spoken word albums include "The Poetry of Maya Angelou," "Women in Business" and "Been Found," and she has contributed articles and short stories to periodicals ranging from Redbook, Harper's Bazaar, Essence and Ebony to Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Life and Black Scholar.

            When not writing, she has spent time teaching modern dance at the Rome Opera House and the Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv, Israel. At the request of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., she was appointed to serve as the northern coordinator for The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and has served as associate editor of the Arab Observer, an English language news weekly in Cairo, Egypt. She taught at the University of Ghana and was a feature editor of the African Review in Ghana.

           Angelou has served as a visiting professor at Wake Forest University, Wichita State University and California State University of Sacramento and as a writer-in-residence at the University of Kansas.

           President Gerald Ford appointed her a member of the American Revolution Bicentennial Council, President Jimmy Carter named her to the Presidential Commission for International Women's Year, and she is a member of the board of governors at the University of North Carolina's Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education at Winston-Salem State University.

           A member of more than a dozen organizations, including the W.E.B. DuBois Foundation Inc., the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Clinton Global Initiative, she also has earned more than 75 awards and citations, including 35 honorary university degrees.       

           UPB, Student Government Association and the University are jointly sponsoring her SRU visit. SRU students will be admitted free. Ticket prices for faculty, staff and the community are yet to be set. 


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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