sealPurdue News

January 10, 2003

Acclaimed author Maya Angelou to speak at Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Maya Angelou, whose autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" was the longest running work (two years) by an African-American on the New York Times' paperback nonfiction bestseller list, will deliver an address at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Purdue University's Elliott Hall of Music.

Maya Angelou

Tickets for the speech, entitled "An Evening with Maya Angelou," will go on sale Wednesday (1/15). Admission is $5 for Purdue students and $10 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (765) 494-3933.

Angelou will speak about her experiences and read from some of her works. In addition to Angelou's address, a variety of related campus events will take place the week of Feb. 3, for which the theme is "Project Respect: Expressions of Human Rights."

The author of dozens of books, essays, poems and plays, Angelou's most recent work, "A Song Flung Up to Heaven," is currently on the bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.

Other accomplishments include a Pulitzer prize nomination for her poem, "Just Give me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie" (1971). Angelou also wrote the poem "On the Pulse of Morning" for President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Writer's Digest named Angelou one of the top 100 writers of the 20th century. She received a Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000.

Angelou also has appeared in, or contributed to, several plays, films and television shows, including the Oprah Winfrey series "Brewster Place," and "Roots," for which she received an Emmy nomination for best supporting actress.

Pablo Malavenda, associate dean for the Office of the Dean of Students, says he hopes people take advantage of the opportunity to see such an accomplished literary artist.

"We are very fortunate to have someone like Maya Angelou visiting our campus," Malavenda says. "Her work is filled with hope and inspiration, and her reading and recitations are so filled with genuine feeling that they are truly captivating. Quite simply, she is a national treasure whose visit to Elliott should not be missed."

Angelou's speech is sponsored by Purdue Student Government, African-American Studies and Research, Black Cultural Center, Purdue Convocations, Diversity Resource Office, Interfraternity Council, Latino Cultural Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Panhellenic Association, Purdue Student Union Board, University Residences, Women's Resource Office, Women's Studies.

CONTACT: Malavenda, (765) 494-1232,; Stephanie Warner, Purdue Student Government president, (765) 494-7201,; Renee Thomas, Black Cultural Center director, (765) 494-3091,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photo of Maya Angelou is available at

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page