Marlene Nourbese Philip

(1947 / Woodlands, Moriah)

Biography of Marlene Nourbese Philip

Marlene Nourbese Philip (born 3 February 1947), usually credited as 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 practised 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. Though her writing suggests an in-depth understanding of the canon, Philip's career undoubtedly helped to free her from the constraints of tradition and to nurture her social analysis and criticism.
Philip 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 non-fiction is taught widely at the university level and is the subject of much academic writing and critique.

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Salmon Courage

Here at Woodlands, Moriah,
these thirty-five years later,
still I could smell her fear.
Then, the huddled hills would not have
calmed her, now as they do me.
Then, the view did not snatch
the panting breath, now, as it does
these thirty-five years later, to the day,
I relive the journey of my salmon mother.

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