Wheatley also wrote about current political events such as the Stamp Act and was a Phillis’ work was strongly influenced by the promise of life after death, which made her poetry stand out. When Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley was published in 1773, it marked several significant accomplishments.It was the first book by a slave to be published in the Colonies, and only the third book by a woman in the American colonies to be published. Twenty of her fifty five surviving poems are elegies written to comfort relatives with eternal life in heaven. by Phillis Wheatley, 1753-1784 and Margaretta Matilda Odell Wheatley was the first published African-American female poet. Born in Africa in 1753, Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped at the age of seven and sold into slavery. Dedicated to the Friends of the Africans. Her poetry expressed Christian themes, and many poems were dedicated to famous figures. One of her famous poems on slavery is On being brought from Africa to America. Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, a Native African and a Slave. Phillis Wheatley best poems. Most do agree, however, that the fact that someone called "slave" could write and publish poetry at that time and place is itself noteworthy. Critics have differed on the contribution of Phillis Wheatley's poetry to America's literary tradition. At nineteen, she became the first black American poet to publish a book, Poems on Various Subjects: Religious and Moral, on which this volume is based.