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Maya Angelou to host XM satellite radio show

Acclaimed poet, author plans to interview people about being American
/ Source: The Associated Press

Poet and novelist Maya Angelou said she agreed to host a weekly show for XM Satellite Radio’s “Oprah & Friends” channel partly because she’s never hosted a radio show before.

Another reason: “I love Oprah a lot, and I’m excited with anything she’s doing.”

Angelou will host an hourlong show that she hopes will be called “Maya Angelou’s America,” although the title hasn’t been decided. She plans to interview ordinary people, along with the “famous and infamous,” asking them what they think it means to be an American.

“It’s amazing to hear people talk about the United States,” she said in an interview Tuesday while she traveled to Mobile, Ala., for a speech. “Many of us have not been asked to describe what it means to us. They hesitate and search for the words and search for what they really think. And that’s very exciting.”

XM, which has more than 7 million subscribers, planned to officially announce Angelou’s show Wednesday.

Angelou joins Oprah Winfrey and other people known from her show, such as Dr. Robin Smith, Nate Berkus and Gayle King, as on-air hosts for the “Oprah & Friends” channel.

Angelou’s writings include her autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” as well as a collection of poetry titled “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’Fore I Diiie” that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Angelou said she continues to teach at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she has a lifetime position as the Reynolds professor of American studies.