Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is a South African writer and performance artist. She is the voice of three poetry collections, Taller than Building (2006), The everyday wife (2010) and 2017s Ice Cream Headache in My Bone. In, 2014, she was commissioned to write and perform her poem, Courage – it takes more, at London’s Westminster Abbey.
de Villiers’ work is published in journals and anthologies for short stories and poetry including the Margaret Busby edited New Daughters of Africa (2019) and Yellow means stay: An anthology of love stories from Africa (2020). Being a bi-racial trans-racial adoptee and having found out about her adoption at 20 years old, her poetry has often explored her complex relationship with racial identity. Her internationally acclaimed autobiographical one-woman play, Original Skin, explores her story and grapples with the writer’s identity in what she calls “a reckoning” with where she came from. Phillippa currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
In this instalment of the David Krut Podcast, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is in conversation with Mthabisi Sithole. Phillippa shares insight on her life’s story and how writing has given her access to voicing that story with the vigour and openness for which she is known.