NourbeSe Philip’s essays, reviews and articles have appeared in magazines and journals throughout North America and England. Her essays also appear in numerous anthologies, are taught widely at the university level and are the subject of much academic writing and critique.
“Philip’s writing lives on a linguistic frontier where the essay and the poem merge to create a new literary form, uniquely hers”
-Robin C Pacific, Artist
Her first collection of essays, Frontiers: Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture – was published by Mercury Press in 1992. Her second and third collections are Showing Grit: Showboating North of the 44th Parallel – (Poui Publications,1993) and a Genealogy of Resistance and Other Essays, (Mercury Press 1997). The extended essay, CARIBANA: African roots and continuities -Race, Space and the Poetics of Moving was published as a chapbook in 1996 and also appears as the final essay in a Genealogy of Resistance. This collection also contains, “The Absence of Writing or How I Almost Became a Spy”, in which she talks about her writing and becoming a writer (also published in She Tries Her Tongue…, as well as several journals and anthologies).
Most recent is the publication of, “Form and Improv” in the Catalogue for EPISTROPHE: WALL PAINTINGS / BY DENYSE THOMASOS. This essay in prose and poetry provides a commentary on the art installation (Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University, 2006).
“We saw culture as a critical site in the political struggle to transform Canadian society. …Marlene Nourbese Philip was really the first to explore these issues (the processes of cultural production and their impact on our sense of individual, community and national identity) in her book in 1992: Frontiers: Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture followed by Showing Grit – an examination of the Show Boat controversy.”
-Carol Tator, at the launch of her book – “Presentation to the Forum on Racism in the Arts and the Book Launching of Challenging Racism in the Arts: Case Studies of Controversy and Conflict”, 1998