Bill Clinton, embracing the poet Maya Angelou after a reading at his inauguration ceremony. Photograph: Arnold Sachs/Getty Images
Maya Angelou, the African-American poet who is one of the most influential and respected literary voices of the modern age, has written a poem praising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for The Observer.
Angelou, author of an autobiographical series of books, including the international bestseller I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was moved to send the verse after being asked by the newspaper for her reflections on Clinton.
She is supporting Clinton despite her close friendship with television personality and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, a prominent backer of rival Democrat Barack Obama, the first black presidential hopeful with a real chance of reaching the White House.
Angelou is steadfast in her loyalty to Clinton. She said recently: ‘I made up my mind 15 years ago that if she ever ran for office I’d be on her wagon. My only difficulty with Senator Obama is that I believe in going out with who I went in with.’