Today (8 March) is International Women’s Day 2018.
To commemorate this annual global event, we are celebrating the work of poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, short story writer and lawyer, M. NourbeSe Philip.
Philip was born on 3 February 1947 in Woodlands on the Caribbean island of Tobago. After graduating from the University of the West Indies, she pursued graduate degrees in political science and law at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She then practised law in Toronto, Ontario, for seven years, leaving her law practice in 1983 to devote time to her writing.
Philip’s approach to language is unique and extraordinary, giving voice to the silenced, dignity to the dispossessed and identity to the unknown throughout colonial history.
If you are unfamiliar with her work, start with her poetry cycle, Zong!, based on a legal decision, at the end of the 18th century, related to the murder of Africans on board a slave ship. You can also find readings of her poetry on her YouTube page.