Poet, writer, civil rights activist, professor, filmmaker, dramatist, singer, Grammy Award winner: Maya Angelou, 83, has also been called the nation’s premier memoirist. She was in Washington last week speaking about her long, rich life. Having come to prominence in 1970 with the publication of her acclaimed first memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Angelou still teaches, still writes, still travels, though she is physically more limited these days.

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