Masterclass Monday: I Have Something In Common With Maya Angelou


In honor of World Poetry Day, I thought I’d focus on writing advice from one of the greats: Maya Angelou. And in my research, I turned up a surprising fact: Maya Angelou preferred to do her writing in a hotel room. She even kept one in her home town that she paid for on a monthly basis. It turns out she and I have that in common. Not the monthly rental – I can’t afford that, but I also prefer to get out of the house to the relative quiet of a hotel room when I can swing it.

She was also known for wearing turbans, and it turns out that’s writing-related, too. She had a tendency to play with her hair and twist it while she wrote, and one of her former husbands used to be jealous of her writing to the point where he’d know she’d been writing if her hair was messed up. She took to wearing the turban to hide her secret addiction to prose.

Anyway, Maya’s words and the soul behind them are the stuff of legend. I’m going to let her tell you how to write a poem, because she is infinitely more than qualified than I am.

I don’t imagine any future boyfriend of mine will see me in a turban, though. He’ll know I was writing just because I’m pacing the room and talking to myself about it. He’s more likely to have me committed for all the conversations I’ll be having with imaginary people.

And like hell will he keep me from writing.

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