Jeffers, Honoree Fanonne. The Age of Phillis. Middletown. 2000. Wesleyan University Press. 9780819579492. 215 pages. hardcover. Front cover illustration by Saneyah Q. James, 2014.

9780819579492FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Poems that imagine the life and times of Phillis Wheatley. In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry that challenged Western prejudices about African and female intellectual capabilities. Based on fifteen years of archival research, The Age of Phillis, by award-winning writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, imagines the life and times of Wheatley: her childhood in the Gambia, West Africa, her life with her white American owners, her friendship with Obour Tanner, and her marriage to the enigmatic John Peters. Woven throughout are poems about Wheatley's "age"―the era that encompassed political, philosophical, and religious upheaval, as well as the transatlantic slave trade. For the first time in verse, Wheatley's relationship to black people and their individual "mercies" is foregrounded, and here we see her as not simply a racial or literary symbol, but a human being who lived and loved while making her indelible mark on history.

Jeffers Honoree Fanonne

HONOREE FANONNE JEFFERS lives in Talladega, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the anthologies AT OUR CORE: WOMEN WRITING ABOUT POWER; DARK EROS; and IDENTITY LESSONS. She has also published poems in Crab Orchard Review; African American Review; Callaloo; Poet Lore; Brilliant Corners; and The Massachusetts Review.





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