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George Elliott Clarke

Autor(a) de Whylah Falls

40+ Works 531 Membros 14 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

George Elliott Clarke, Febraury 12, 1960 - George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor Plains, Nova Scotia on February 12, 1960. He earned an Honours B.A. in English from the University of Waterloo, an M.A. in English from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D awarded by Queens University. After college, mostrar mais he accepted a position as assistant professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, where he taught topics such as nationalism, post-colonialism, and New World African Literature. In September 1998, he transferred to McGill University in Montréal and became the third Seagram Visiting Chair of Canadian Studies for 1998-1999. He also taught at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor in English. At the age of 21, he received first prize in poetry from the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia in 1981. In 1983, he was runner-up for the Bliss Carman Award for Poetry. While studying at Queens, he was named winner of the Archibald Lampman Award for poetry in 1991. While teaching at Duke, in 1998, he won the $25,000 Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts, That same year, he was awarded a Bellagio Center Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York City. In 1999, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University, and the University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from University of New Brunswick. On September 9, 2000, Clarke was awarded Outstanding Writer of a Canadian Feature Film, for One Heart Broken Into Song, by the Black Film and Video Network. Clarke has also edited a two volume anthology, Fire on the Water: An Anthology of Black Nova Scotian Writing (1991-92) and is also the editor of Eyeing the North Star: Directions in African-Canadian Literature. In 2001, Clarke was awarded the Governor General's Award for poetry for his work Execution Poems. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: uwaterloo.ca


Obras de George Elliott Clarke

Whylah Falls (1990) 128 cópias
George and Rue (2006) 99 cópias
Blue (1900) 36 cópias
Black (2006) 18 cópias
Beatrice Chancy (1999) 17 cópias
The Motorcyclist (2016) 11 cópias
I & I (2009) 8 cópias
Illuminated Verses (2005) 7 cópias

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



...Blue is licorice manufactured from liquor and rice
Blue is what happens when you sleep through your moment of
Blue is snuff films screened in classrooms for literary reasons
Blue is coffee from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica
Blue is a moth huddled in the middle of a sugar bowl as the
spoon is plunged in
Blue is Saltwater Spirituals and Deeper Blues; Lush Dreams,
Blue Exile
; and Blue
Fatal, foolhardy poetry.

- from Blue Elegies, I.i.

All I ask from poetry is that it let me look through someone else's eyes and see, really see, just a little. That it break and grind the world, deliver it to me dripping in language. That it make me cringe a little. Maybe laugh. Shudder some. Open up a place I have never seen, or a place I have seen every day of my life and never really seen. So, George Elliott Clarke, I salute you. For letting me look through your black Canadian man's eyes for a little while. For these gems. This is what poetry should be. This is what poetry should do.

More than that, it is here done by a man who has read both deeply and widely and who has the raw talent and love of language to stand up and talk back to those he has read, to join the conversation and hold his own. (I was absolutely tickled by the assaults on Ezra Pound.) As might be gathered from the title, this is a profane, pornographic little bundle of poems, and the repeated whore imagery did wear just a little. But again, poetry exists to bring me another world view, male gaze and all.

I loved so many of these it's hard to know which one to memorialize here. My very favorite is "Elegy for Mona States (1958-1999)" but it's too long for my purposes at the moment. Several of my favorites are. I'll go with this one:


for Arnold 'Ted' Davidson (1936-1999)

I am the lyrical warrior
who eyes the icy moon
and gulps tear-soured rum,
while etching blues to beguile
a difficult, desired lover,
and who imagines his enemies
gashed and battered by God,
and who drifts, enduring exile,
but hallucinating of home, and love, and war.
I'll end my days, withered, sorrowful,
mourning all of these words,
wondering why I was not loved enough,
why I loved not enough.
… (mais)
amyotheramy | outras 2 resenhas | May 11, 2021 |
I found this book in a Little Free Library and I recognized the title as being one that appears on the CBC 100 Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian so I snapped it up. I'm not sure that the subject matter of the book makes me proud to be Canadian but certainly the calibre of the writing makes me proud to recognize George Elliott Clarke as a Canadian. At the back of the book Clarke says it took him from 1994 to 2004 to write this book; I'm certainly glad that he persevered.

George and Rue Hamilton were brothers raised in a black community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia called Three Mile Plains. Born into poverty they never managed to rise much farther economically in their lifetimes. George, the elder, probably would have been happier farming the fertile land of the Valley but he met a woman he wanted to marry and he felt he had to earn more money. Rue (Rufus) was wilder than his brother and more inclined to violence. He was gifted musically having taught himself how to play jazz and blues on a derelict piano that only had half a keyboard. If that gift had been nourished his trajectory in life (and that of his brother) would have been quite different. He did work for a while as a pianist in Halifax but got embroiled with a prostitute and went downhill from there. George signed up for the Army during World War II but went AWOL when he saw how racist the service was. He then signed up for the Merchant Marine and did a number of tours but when the war was over he was jailed for deserting. He still didn't have much money but he persuaded his girl to marry him and move to Fredericton where he was sure he could find work. He found some jobs and he felt life was pretty good so he wrote to Rue in Halifax and asked him to come to Fredericton. Rue was not a good influence on George and just when George's wife gave birth to their second child the brothers were completely broke. Rue convinced George that they could solve their money problems by robbing a taxi driver. Rue wielded a hammer to hit the driver who died of the blows. They tried to dispose of the body and incriminating evidence but were as useless at that as almost everything else they attempted to do. Police questioned George first who told them Rue had killed the driver. George mistakenly thought he would be allowed to go free if he testified against Rue. Instead both were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. "July 27, 1949, Anno Domini: the Hamiltons fell like dominoes. They merit no poetry, no laurels, no ballads, no statues, no headstones, no memory, no existence."

As a footnote to the book Clarke tells the reader about two white men in Quebec who committed almost the same crime in December 1949. They were sentenced to die but the sentences were commuted to life in prison. "George and Rue--black--had no such white luck."

Clarke learned the story of the Hamilton brothers from his mother because they were relatives. In fact George Hamilton and George Elliott Clarke were named after the same man, George Johnson. Clarke was also born in the settlement of Three Mile Plains. Thankfully his life turned out much better than the Hamiltons.
… (mais)
gypsysmom | outras 3 resenhas | Apr 24, 2021 |
George Elliott Clarke's Québécité is a three-act multicultural romance set in modern-day Quebec. It tells the story of two interracial couples whose blossoming relationships expose the perils and possibilities of loving across racial and cultural lines.

Québécité is an expanded, poetic rendering of a libretto George Elliott Clarke wrote at the request of the Guelph Jazz Festival, with music composed by Juno award-winning pianist D.D. Jackson. The opera will debut in Guelph during this year's festival (September 3 to 7) with a cast including Haydain Neale, Kiran Ahluwalia, Yoon Choi and Dean Bowman.… (mais)
Centre_A | Nov 27, 2020 |
This is a unique novel for sure. Clarke has taken his father’s (William Lloyd Clarke) diary and used it to ‘inform’ this book. And it is the descriptions that builds the empathy with the readers. Set in 1959-60 Halifax, we get to understand what it was like for the senior Clarke to live in that time and era. We feel the racism he endures because of the colour of his skin. We feel the prejudices he endures because of his parentage. And we feel the slights he endures because of his occupation. But most of all, we feel the enjoyment he gets when he straddles his beloved BMW motorcycle and drives out onto the open road.

… (mais)
steven.buechler | May 2, 2016 |



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