Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley, 1753?–1784, American poet, considered the first important black writer in the United States. Brought from Africa in 1761, she became a house slave for the Boston merchant John Wheatley and his wife Susanna, who, recognizing her intelligence and wit, educated her and encouraged her talent. Her work, which was derivative, was published in the collection Poems on Various Subjects (1773) and in various magazines. A second volume existed in manuscript, but it was not published and was subsequently lost. Although Wheatley traveled to England, where she was much admired, and soon thereafter obtained her freedom, she eventually died in poverty.

See her Life and Works (1916, repr. 1969); biography by V. Carretta (2011); H. L. Gates, Jr., The Trials of Phillis Wheatley (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Phillis Wheatley: Selected full-text books and articles

The Poems of Phillis Wheatley By Phillis Wheatley; Julian D. Mason Jr University of North Carolina Press, 1989 (Revised edition)
Unprecedented Liberties: Re-Reading Phillis Wheatley By Flanzbaum, Hilene MELUS, Vol. 18, No. 3, Fall 1993
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
From "Uncultivated Barbarian" to "Poetical Genius": The Public Presence of Phillis Wheatley By Nott, Walt MELUS, Vol. 18, No. 3, Fall 1993
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women By Mia Bay; Farah J. Griffin; Martha S. Jones; Barbara D. Savage The University of North Carolina Press, 2015
The Contemporaneous Reception of Phillis Wheatley: Newspaper and Magazine Notices during the Years of Fame, 1765-1774 By Isani, Mukhtar Ali The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 85, No. 4, Fall 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Phillis Wheatley, Diaspora Subjectivity, and the African American Canon By Harris, Will MELUS, Vol. 33, No. 3, Fall 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
To Make a Poet Black By J. Saunders Redding McGrath Publishing, 1968
The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution By Sidney Kaplan; Emma Nogrady Kaplan University of Massachusetts Press, 1989 (Revised edition)
Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction By Hallie Q. Brown Oxford University Press, 1992
Phillis Wheatley's Construction of Otherness and the Rhetoric of Performed Ideology By Balkun, Mary McAleer African American Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Spiritual Interrogations: Culture, Gender, and Community in Early African American Women's Writing By Katherine Clay Bassard Princeton University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "Disapora Subjectivity and Transatlantic Crossings: Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Recovery" and Chap. Three "'The Too Advent'rous Strain': Slavery, Conversion, and Poetic Empowerment in Phillis Wheatley's Elegies"
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