Image of poet Maya Angelou to appear on US quarters

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The image of American poet Maya Angelou, who has been dubbed the “black woman’s poet laureate”, is to appear on US quarter coins. Angelou, an American author, poet and civil rights activist, rose to prominence with the publication of her autobiographical work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969.

In 1993, she recited her poem ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. She was also honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

The quarter design depicts Angelou with outstretched arms. Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry. The US mint will issue 20 quarters over the next four years honouring women and their achievements in shaping America’s history.

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