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Essential Poets 263
Canticles II
MMXIX
1st edition
9781771834094 Paperback, UK Trade English POETRY / Canadian Oct 01, 2019
$29.95 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 1.3 in 400 pages Guernica Editions
Canticles II continues George Elliott Clarke's epic exploration of the Black/African intellectual presence in the Occident. In Canticles I (MMXVI) and (MMXVII), Clarke presents dramatic monologues in which historical personages and invented characters address 2000 years of imperialism and 500 years of slavery, some in support and others in opposition. In Canticles II, Clarke revises influential scriptures, principally Judeo-Christian, to offer alternative takes and tangents on their narratives and aphorisms, their histories and prophecies, reflecting an Afrocentric accent. Canticles II (MMXIX) shadows selected, Hebraic texts to draft a God who is particularly headstrong and peoples who tend to be wrong-headed. Any suspected blasphemy herein is, however, merely Poetry in disguise.

A revered poet, George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. A graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.A., Hons.,1984), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1989), and Queen's University (Ph.D., 1993), he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. Clarke's also taught at Duke University, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and at Harvard University. He has also worked as a researcher, newspaper editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and newspaper columnist). He lives in Toronto, Ontario, but he also owns land in Nova Scotia. His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), Governor-Genera's Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), appointments as Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto (2012-15) and as Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), and eight honorary doctorates. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

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