Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley

Wheatley memoir cover

Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley: A Native African and Slave

Phillis Wheatley, African, 1753-1784

Ed. Margaretta Matilda Odell

1835

Wheatley portrait

The Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley: a Native African and Slave includes the beautifully written poems of the native African woman, Phillis Wheatley, the first published African female poet. The book also features a memoir, written by Margaretta Matilda Odell, thoroughly detailing Wheatley's life as both a slave and poet. Upon opening the book, the reader finds a printed image of Wheatley, seated with a pen in hand, designed to prove that the body of work was created by a black woman. The beginning of the book also features a dedication and table of contents. The original binding of this miniature book remains intact along with thick, stained pages. There are no notes or annotations found in the book, suggesting that it was originally read for leisure. Now, however, many refer to this book for research and historical purposes.

Wheatley's poems remain adored and relevant as they encapsulate the various influences present in her life, including those of her native roots, prior to enslavement. 

 

Asia Belt, Class of 2022

Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley