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 opening chapter of his contemporary novel in progress, EDGE OF DOOM, a tragic love story set in today’s Brooklyn, where all too human characters, driven by their own demons and virtues, confront excruciating and fateful choices, earned Honorable Mention in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category of the 76th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

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.

ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND: The Untold Story of History’s First Flight blends fiction and history, science and fantasy in a whimsical, high-spirited adventure through the darkest corners of our American past.

In vivid detail adapted from authentic nineteenth century slave narratives, WINGS is a celebration of ingenuity, perseverance and courage in the face of the most brutal oppression, a triumph of the human spirit.

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…