Zong! NourbeSe Philip’s newest book of poetry has now been published. This groundbreaking poetry cycle is based on a legal decision, at the end of the eighteenth century, related to the murder of Africans on board a slave ship. Previously, NourbeSe Philip has published three books of poetry, Thorns – 1980, Salmon Courage – 1983 and, her most acclaimed volume of poetry to date, She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks –1988. This collection of poems won the prestigious Casa de las Americas prize while still in manuscript form. Although classified as a novel, Looking For Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence – 1991, is a narrative in poetry and prose.
Her poetry has been extensively anthologized. Eighteen poems, together with several prose pieces, appear in Grammar of Dissent. NourbeSe Philip has two more books of poetry in manuscript form, Honey in the Window and Yesterday’s of (K)not .
Philip’s poetry encourages an all-encompassing verbal awareness” and “aims to reinvest language with history until ‘each word creates a centre/ circumscribed by memory’
-Mark Ford, The Guardian