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Poetry Epic

Canticles III


by (author) George Elliott Clarke

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Nov 2023
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price

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In Zanzibar, in 2008, George Elliott Clarke began to write his "Canticles," an epic poem treating the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Imperial and colonial conquest, and the resistance to all these evils. That is the subject of Canticles I (MMXVI) and (MMXVII). In Canticles II (MMXIX) and (MMXX), Clarke rewrites significant scriptures from an oral and "African" or "Africadian" perspective. Now, in Canticles III (MMXXII) and (MMXXIII), Clarke shifts focus—from world history and theology — to the specific history and bios associated with the creation of the African ("Africadian") Baptist Association of Nova Scotia. By so doing, he concludes the most remarkable epic ever essayed in Canadian letters — an amalgam of Pound and Walcott — but entirely and inimitably his own.

About the author

George Elliott Clarke is a Canadian poet and playwright. Born in Windsor Plains, Nova Scotia, he has spent much of his career writing about the Black communities of Nova Scotia and served for a time in the African-American Studies department at Duke University. He earned a BA Honours degree in English from the University of Waterloo (1984), an MA in English from Dalhousie University (1989), and a PhD in English from Queenâ??s University (1993). In addition, he has received honorary degrees from Dalhousie University (LLD), the University of New Brunswick (LittD), the University of Alberta (LittD), and the University of Waterloo (LittD). He is currently professor of English at the University of Toronto.

In 2001 he won the Governor Generalâ??s Literary Award for poetry for his book Execution Poems. Clarkeâ??s work largely explores and chronicles the experience and history of the black Canadian community of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, creating a cultural geography that Clarke often refers to as Africadia. Clarkeâ??s Whylah Falls was one of the selected books in the 2002 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by Nalo Hopkinson.

George Elliott Clarke's profile page

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