Columbus poet, writing professor discuss Maya Angelou’s influence

Columbus honors Maya Angelou

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Local teachers and poets say Maya Angelou played a huge role in guiding and inspiring many people in the Chattahoochee Valley to read and appreciate literature.

News Leader 9's Sara Lim met with some locals who say Angelou motivated them to write poetry and books.

We spoke with a local poet who says she started writing poetry when she read Maya Angelou's works in high school.

"As a poet myself, I know that we have to carry on her torch as far as poetry because not only did she open doors, for poets like myself of color, but as far as just… no matter where she did her poem, no matter what ethnicity it was," said Dunikki White, also known as Atmosphere the Poet.

We also met with a creative writing professor at Columbus State University who says many of his students choose English as their major because of this legendary author and poet.

"AT CSU we have lot of African American students who are English majors, and who are creative writing majors…poems like a phenomenal woman, Africa etc and many say these are the poems that inspired them to write poetry and it ended up being the things that helped them choose their college major and to pursue at least a college career as poet and writer," explained Dr. Nick Norwood.

Maya Angelou passed away at her home in North Carolina and had been suffering from heart problems, according to her agent. She was friends with Malcolm X, the reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and she's well known for many of her works including "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "A Phenomenal Woman," and more.

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