About the Author: Richard Kigel

The author with Phillis's statue at the Boston Women's Memorial.

The author with Phillis’s statue at the Boston Women’s Memorial.

When it comes to reading, writing and books, Richard Kigel brings the practical skills of an experienced literacy professional to his work. A veteran of thirty years teaching in Brooklyn public schools, he has been on the front lines in the literacy wars, inspiring students in reading and writing for a generation.

His article PHILLIS WHEATLEY AND THE BOSTON TEA PARTY: How Books of Poems Started a Literary Tradition While Chests of Tea Started a Revolution in the Fall 2013 issue of THE DIAL, journal of the Old South Meeting House National Historical Landmark and Museum in Boston, revealed for the first time that the shipment of Phillis Wheatley’s books arrived from London on the same ship as the hated tea.

You can read the article here.

The Untold Story of History’s First Flight”, a short story based on his historical novel NORTH ON THE WIND, was chosen as a selection in the book ALTERNATE HISTORY SHORT STORIES published by Flame Tree Studio, January 2023.

About the Books

Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest PresidentBecoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President will be published in hardcover in 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing. The book utilizes a treasure trove of significant recent Lincoln scholarship. Supported by rigorous research and meticulously annotated, BECOMING ABRAHAM LINCOLN is a vivid authentic account of Lincoln’s most formative years in the actual words of those who knew him best.

This historic eyewitness testimony forms a rich detailed narrative unmatched in all Lincoln literature.

HEAV’NLY TIDINGS FROM THE AFRIC MUSE: The Grace and Genius of Phillis WheatleyHEAV’NLY TIDINGS FROM THE AFRIC MUSE: The Grace and Genius of Phillis Wheatley: A new biography by Richard Kigel

Standing naked on the wharf in Boston harbor, a frail little girl of seven was purchased as a slave by a wealthy Boston family in 1761. By the time Phillis Wheatley turned 20, this gifted young woman had become an international celebrity. She became the first African-American and the second American woman to publish a book. With her poems, her lifelike portrait and her personal story playing in the press, Phillis Wheatley became the most famous person of African descent in the world. Learn more…