Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American poet and the first African-American woman to publish a book. Born in Africa in 1753, Wheatley was sold into slavery as a child and purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry after seeing her talent. Her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, brought her fame in both the American Colonies and England and was praised by figures such as George Washington. To learn about other famous women authors, visit our Writers/Poets section in Biographies.