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Preserving the Poetic Touch of a Place Dr. Maya Angelou Called Home

Dr. Maya Angelou’s creativity and unique writing style have spanned over 50 years through her literary work and featured appearances in plays, movies, and television shows. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. It’s no coincidence that the poetry legend, who would have turned 96 on April 4th, was born during National Poetry Month.

Winston-Salem, a vibrant city known for its rich cultural heritage and thriving arts scene, was a fitting place for the award-winning author to settle in her latter years and share her world-renowned gift of artistry with the students at Wake Forest as a scholar. The home, located in a peaceful neighborhood just a short drive from downtown, offers a perfect balance of tranquility and convenience.

“This Is Home,” an article featured on the Visit Winston-Salem website details why one of the world’s greatest writers and poets made Winston-Salem her home for 30+ years before her death almost ten years ago. 

Poet Maya Angelou, the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, has donated her multimedia archives to the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. She is honored at a reception on Thursday, April 12, 2007.

Her story is an exciting journey about how Winston-Salem became her home. According to the article by Lance Elk, Dr. Angelou visited Wake Forest University in 1973 during the school’s Black Awareness Week and was so impressed by the students and the welcoming faculty that she prophesized, “If I stayed here, these people would be my friends.” Her prophecy came to life approximately ten years later. She accepted a lifetime professorship at Wake Forest University in the early 1980s, establishing a lifelong relationship with the university. 

A young Maya Angelou reading a periodical; Courtesy of G Marshall Wilson via

Nathan Hatch, the 13th president of Wake Forest University, said on the university’s Maya Angelou’s website that Dr. Angelou devoted her life at Wake Forest to creating a love of language and a keen awareness of the power of literature and learning, which generations of Wake Forest students benefited through her teaching and guidance. 

The city of art and innovation boasts a reputation for its prestigious NC School of Arts, art, business innovators, film, and theater festivals. It’s also no coincidence that Winston-Salem had an intertwined connection to Dr. Angelou’s artistry and innovativeness in literature. Angelou, who was versatile in “art and innovation,” was also a singer, actress, dancer, magazine editor, playwright, and film director.

Dr. Angelou’s affection for Winston-Salem is palpable. In a 2011 edition of Southern Living, she gushed about the city’s charm and natural beauty. “Winston-Salem is so beautiful,” she exclaimed. “I’m delighted to be in the Piedmont, where the Smokies and the Blue Ridge come together. We have 10-foot-tall rhododendrons and 6-foot-tall azaleas. Now that’s unheard of,” she added, further cementing her love for the city.

Dr. Angelou’s creative career and legacy continue to resonate through her writing collections, infamous poems, and social justice activism. The only poetic touch missing is the preservation of her home, a place she cherished and where she created some of her most profound work. The house, currently for sale, is a treasure trove of memories, including the sunroom where Oprah Winfrey interviewed the scholar and where she penned her profound thoughts. It was at this home that she received the call, requesting to write a poem for former President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Her poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” spoken during the 1993 inauguration, won her a Grammy for best spoken word in 1994.

The writer had the opportunity to interview Licensed Real Estate Broker Brian Trainum, who shared that the current owner desires to sell the 6400-square-foot home, a historic property with a rich past and unique room features, to a special buyer who will preserve Angelou’s legacy. According to Trainum, the seller wants the buyer to provide that poetic touch to Angelou’s home, such as hosting writer’s retreats, a conference center, and a bed and breakfast – showcasing Angelou’s influence in the rooms.

Dr. Maya Angelou’s Winston-Salem home; Courtesy of the Maya Angelou Legacy Home

Dr. Angelou’s home was part of the Maya Angelou Foundation for two years after her death before the current owner bought it. Trainum stated that the home had been off the market for a while before it went back on the market at the end of last year.

A deserving buyer who understands Dr. Angelou’s literary legacy, just as she did with her divine gift of writing, deserves to memorialize the profound legacy of the world’s greatest poet in a city she loved and divinely made home. This is a unique opportunity to own a piece of literary history and contribute to the preservation of Dr. Angelou’s legacy, a legacy that will carry on for generations to come.

To learn more about the home, visit Interested buyers can also contact the real estate broker at or (704) 661-6251.

Also, those interested in supporting her legacy through the Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation can visit

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