About the Author

George Elliott Clarke

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.

Books by this Author
Blues and Bliss

Blues and Bliss

The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke
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also available: eBook
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Excerpt

Africadian Experience by George Elliott Clarke

(For Frederick Ward)

To howl in the night because of smoked rum wounding the heart;

To be so stubbornly crooked, your alphabet develops rickets;

To check into the Sally Ann—and come out brain-dead, but spiffy;

To smell the sewer anger of politicians washed up by dirty votes;

To feel your skin burning under vampire kisses meant for someone else;

To trash the ballyhooed verses of the original, A-1, Africville poets;

To carry the Atlantic into Montreal in epic suitcases with Harlem accents;

To segregate black and white bones at the behest of discriminating worms;

To mix voodoo alcohol and explosive loneliness in unsafe bars;

To case the Louvre with raw, North Preston gluttony in your eyes;

To let vitamin deficiencies cripple beauty queens in their beds;

To dream of Halifax and its collapsing houses of 1917

(Blizzard and fire in ten thousand living rooms in one day);

To stagger a dirt road that leads to an exploded piano and bad sermons;

To plumb a well that taps rice wine springing up from China;

To okay the miracle of a split length of wood supporting a clothesline;

To cakewalk into prison as if you were parading into Heaven;

To recognize Beauty when you see it and to not be afraid.

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Directions Home

Directions Home

Approaches to African-Canadian Literature
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged : canadian
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George And Rue

George And Rue

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also available: Paperback
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I & I

I & I

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also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian
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J. J. Steinfeld

J. J. Steinfeld

Essays on His Works
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Lasso the Wind

Lasso the Wind

Aurelia's Verses and other Poems
edition:Hardcover
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Odysseys Home

Odysseys Home

Mapping African-Canadian Literature
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback Hardcover eBook
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Trudeau

Trudeau

Long March, Shining Path
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground

Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground

The Poetry of F.R. Scott
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Tightrope Time

Tightrope Time

Ain't Nuthin' More Than Some Itty Bitty Madness Between Twilight & Dawn
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Eyeing the North Star

Eyeing the North Star

Directions in African-Canadian Literature
edition:Paperback
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