This is an online event via Zoom webinar. Register here.
Phillis Wheatley (1753?-1784) was a pioneer of African-British, African-American, and American literature. Kidnapped from West Africa as a child and enslaved in Boston, Phillis Wheatley became the first English-speaking author of African descent to publish a book of poems in 1773. With Poems on Various Subjects: Religious and Moral, Wheatley—still a teenager—became an international celebrity, moving in the same circles as the most important military, political, religious and popular figures of the day. Phillis is believed to have lived in Wilmington, with her husband John Peters in 1780. Vincent Carretta, scholar and author of Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage will discuss Wheatley’s works, life and legacy.
Vin Carretta, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, specializes in transatlantic historical and literary studies during the long eighteenth century. Vin’s most recent books include Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (2005); The Life and Letters of Philip Quaque The First African Anglican Missionary (2010), co-edited with Ty M. Reese; Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (2011); and an edition of Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African (2015). In November 2019 Oxford University Press published Vin’s edition of The Writings of Phillis Wheatley.
This program is hosted by Wilmington Memorial Library, in partnership with Memorial Hall Library.