Why Not an “African-Canadian” Epic? Lessons from Pound, Pratt, and Walcott

Event Date: Monday, December 2
Event Time: 4:00-6:00PM

Why Not an “African-Canadian” Epic? Lessons from Pound, Pratt, and Walcott

A talk by George Elliott Clarke, William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Thompson Room, Barker Center

Sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Canada Program


George Elliott Clarke (1960-) hails from Windsor, Nova Scotia, and is the inaugural E. J. Pratt (Poet) Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto and, currently, the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies, in the Department of English at Harvard University. Clarke’s honours include the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry (1991), the Portia White Prize for Artistic Excellence (1998), a Bellagio Center (Italy) Fellowship (1998), The Governor-General’s Literary Award for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award (2004), The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005-2008), The Premiul Poesis (Romania) (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), and The Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009). He was appointed Poet Laureate of Toronto, Canada, 2012-15, and also holds eight honorary doctorates. His major titles include Wylah Falls (1990), Beatrice Chancy (1999), Execution Poems (2000), George and Rue (2005), Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke, ed. Jon Paul Fiorentino (2008), and two landmark volumes of literary criticism, Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature (2002) and Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature. His poetry books have been translated into Romanian, Chinese, and Italian. In 2012, Prof. Joseph Pivato edited Africadian Atlantic: Essays on George Elliott Clarke. Clarke is currently drafting The Canticles, an epic poem on Negrophobia and the enslavement of Africans. Part I will appear in 2014.