I first heard of Maya Angelou in high school. Somehow I got a copy of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. From the first few pages, I was captivated by her use of language. I had never read prose that had the cadence and lyricism of poetry. I ended up choosing a selection from that book for my Forensics (Speech) competition my senior year. (My high school had a team and my category was “serious prose.” This meant that I basically competed in the sport of reading books aloud—I even lettered in it. You could say it’s the only “sport” I’ve ever truly succeeded in.) After reading Angelou’s story, I began to seek out her poetry. I encourage you to do the same. Click here to read Caged Bird, by Maya Angelou.