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Presented By: William L. Clements Library

‘An Issue of Mercy’: Exploring the Life and Writing of Phillis Wheatley Peters Through Documents and Poetry

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Age of Phillis Age of Phillis
Age of Phillis
Poet, essayist, and novelist Honorée Fanonne Jeffers will discuss the research and practice that led to her award-winning book of poetry The Age of Phillis (2020). This collection is based upon fifteen years of research on the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters (1753-1784), a formerly enslaved person who was the first African American woman to publish a book. Professor Jeffers will discuss the connections between archival research and creative practice, and on the ways that early Americanist scholarship can benefit from engagement with contemporary poetry. The Age of Phillis won the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Literary Work: Poetry, was long-listed for the 2020 National Book Award in Poetry, and was a finalist for both the 2021 PEN/Volcker Award and the 2021 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. The Age of Phillis was also chosen as the “common read” for the Society of Early Americanists’ conference for the academic year of 2020-2021.

A Randolph G. Adams Lecture presented by the William L. Clements Library in partnership with the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Residential College, Department of English Language and Literature, and Department of History.
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March 21, 2022 (Monday) 4:00pm
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