The University of Maine at Augusta will offer a free teachers’ workshop at the University College of Rockland Friday, Jan. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the April visit by poet Maya Angelou to UMA. Deadline to sign up for the local workshop is Friday, Jan. 22.

During the workshop, there will be three distinct activities offered that can be used in English classes or adapted for other kinds of classes. First, Julie Hendrickson, coordinator of the UMA Writing Center, will discuss “Maya Angelou: Writing Life,” exploring ways students can use their own experiences to write their life stories. Activities will focus on journal writing, memoir writing and narrative/descriptive writing.
This will be followed by a discussion led by Ellen Taylor, UMA associate professor of English, on “Maya Angelou: The Power of Words.” During this activity, participants will look at the architecture of selected Angelou poems, the poetic devices she employs and the narrative content.

The workshop will conclude with Maya Angelou: Art, Culture, and Politics,” led by Sarah Hentges, UMA assistant professor of American Studies. This activity will employ several ways to engage with Angelou’s work and will consider Angelou’s popular appeal including Oprah Winfrey’s tributes to her work and life; and President Clinton’s inclusion of her in his inauguration ceremony.

In addition to the URock workshop, the Angelou workshop will be offered Friday, Feb. 5 at University College of Bangor from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (RSVP by Jan. 29); and Friday, Feb. 12 at UMA (RSVP by Feb. 5). For more information on the three educator workshops, contact Sarah Hentges at 621-3309 or

Angelou, the world-renowned poet, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, will speak at a UMA-sponsored event Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. Local high schools and colleges can receive a 10 percent discount on the purchase of 10 or more tickets. For more information on the event or how to order tickets, call 621-3133.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to