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Miami Performs: A Living Memorial for the Victims of the Zong Massacre

The University of Miami in partnership with PEN America are proud to present the poet, essayist, and novelist M. NourbeSe Philip in a public reading from her collection of poetry entitled Zong! as part of the 37th Annual West Indian Literature Conference. Members of the public are invited to join in this free, participatory reading at the Historic Virginia Key Beach. 


M. NourbeSe Philip is a Canadian poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and short story writer. Born in the Caribbean in Woodlands, Moriah, Trinidad and Tobago, Philip was educated at the University of the West Indies. She subsequently pursued graduate degrees in political science and law at the University of Western Ontario, and practiced law in Toronto, Ontario, for seven years. She left her law practice in 1983 to devote time to her writing.

Philip is known for experimentation with literary form and for her commitment to social justice. She has published five books of poetry, two novels, four books of collected essays, and two plays. Her short stories, essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in magazines and journals in North America and England and her poetry has been extensively anthologized. Her work—poetry, fiction and nonfiction—is taught widely at the university level and is the subject of much academic writing and critique.

Zong! is NourbeSe Philip’s most recent book of poetry. Published by Weslyan University Press, and by The Mercury Press in Canada, this extended poetry cycle is based on a legal decision, at the end of the 18th century, related to the murder of Africans on board a slave ship.

Participants will receive a free signed copy of the collection of poems (while supplies last).

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