07/01/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" poet and author Maya Angelou, 72, has signed a deal to develop a line of greeting cards, gifts and other products for Hallmark Cards Inc. The Associated Press reports that the card manufacturer predicts that the Maya Angelou Collection will generate annual sales of $50 million once the line arrives in stores in 2002, though Angelou's monetary slice of the pie was not disclosed. "I feel about Hallmark the same way I feel about Reader's Digest or Quaker Oats," said the acclaimed writer, whose previous professions have included actor, singer, streetcar conductor and (briefly) madam. "These are the institutions which set standards and have not deviated from the best they could do. Every year I work to not fail, to not let my standards fall. I think that's one of the things we have in common."