English Literature

Afro-Caribbean-Canadian writer M. NourbeSe Philip will read from Zong!, a book of poetry that explodes the trial records of a British court case from the late 1700s, where the captain of a slave ship who has thrown slaves overboard is tried not for murder but for insurance fraud. Over years of grappling with this project, Philip found ways of telling the unspeakable by not telling it: “I murder the text, literally cut it into pieces, castrating verbs, suffocating adjectives, murdering nouns, throwing articles, prepositions, conjunctions overboard, jettisoning adverbs….” She describes the book’s discourse as “this language of grunt and groan, of moan and stutter – this language of pure sound fragmented and broken by history. This language of the limp and the wound. Of the fragment.”
M. NourbeSe Philip will be in residence at Swarthmore October 28 – 30. Her reading will take place from 1 to 2 on Friday October 30, in Lang Concert Hall.
Sponsored by the Department of English Literature and the Program in Black Studies.