An exciting year-long, transatlantic programme of drama, events, and talks celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wheatley’s Reflections on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral – the first book of poetry in English by an African writer.

Featured Events

Bringing Phillis to Life

A discussion exploring representations of  Phillis as an historical figure...

Celebrating Phillis Wheatley 250 – St Andrews University

Playwrights Ade Solanke and May Sumbwanyambe in Conversation: Putting Black...

Celebrating Phillis Wheatley 250 at the British Library

British Library Oct 19th 2023 A tribute to the mother...

Phillis in London is a project to mark the 250th anniversary of the first book in english by an African. Phillis Wheatley’s book, Reflections on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in London in 1773.

From acclaimed playwright Ade Solanke comes a new play about an extraordinary writer – Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to publish a book of poetry, and the second American woman to do so.

Her volume was published in London when she was still a teenager. It marks a watershed moment in literary history and made her ‘the Oprah Winfrey of her day’, both in Europe and America. On her trip to London in 1773, she toured the city, visited Greenwich with its myriad connections to the Navy, the Slave Trade and British-African history, and mixed with the elite of London society.

But while she was being celebrated, she was enslaved.