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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Hay closes chapter for Angelou
Dr Maya Angelou
Angelou is releasing her biography's sixth chapter
Acclaimed African-American writer Maya Angelou drew one of the largest crowds at the Hay Festival.

She was at the tiny Welsh border town's literature festival to plug her new book A Song Flung Up To Heaven.

It comes four days after the poet and civil rights firebrand was handed a lifetime achievement award by the Ethnic Multicultural Media Awards.

Macy Gray
Soul star Macy Gray will appear on 8 June
She headlined Tuesday's events at the week-long book festival.

Her new title is the sixth instalment of a remarkable autobiography and memoirs, which began more than 30 years ago with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

In that first title, she outlines a life filled with disappointment, frustration and tragedy.

Out of Africa

At Hay at 1930 BST, she recounted from the latest work poignant stories, including her collaborations with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

She tells of returning from Africa to work with the pioneers of the US black rights movement.

Hay on Wye
The tiny border town is packed with bookshops
The book is already on The New York Times' best-seller list for hardcover non-fiction.

Also on Tuesday, Swansea author Stevie Davies won the English-language Welsh Book Of The Year award at the competition in Powys.

The Element of Water is her eighth novel and secured for her a third appearance on the Hay shortlist.

Davies recently returned to her home city and is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Wales.

BBC Cymru'r Byd executive producer Grahame Davies won the equivalent Welsh-language award for his second volume of poetry Cadwyni Rhyddid (Chains of Freedom) - a satirical look at the Welsh in Cardiff.

Both winner received a cheque for 3,000 from festival organisers.

Earlier in the day, authors Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, Ray Mears and Ian Robertson gave talks.

Around 60,000 literature fans and celebrity-spotters were expected to swell the tiny town's 1,300 population in the week of the fifteenth book festival.

Hay Festival of Literature in Powys runs until 9 June.

Watch

in a special performance on BBC Four and bbc.co.uk/bbcfour - 7 June, 2100 BST (and 8 June, 0130 BST; 9 June, 2200 BST).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Jon Gower
"Angelou is a renaissance woman"
See also:

05 Jun 02 | Wales
01 Jun 02 | Wales
27 May 02 | Entertainment
25 May 01 | Entertainment
26 May 01 | Wales
30 May 01 | Wales
26 May 00 | Business
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