George Elliott Clarke

George Elliott Clarke is an internationally-renowned poet and scholar whose books—including his highly-esteemed poetry collections Execution Poems and Whylah Falls—have won him many honours, including the Portia White Prize (1998), the Governor General’s Literary Award (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005). Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Clarke presently resides in Toronto where he is E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. George served as and Canada’s seventh Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016–17).

[ Large Cover ]
Execution Poems
George Elliott Clarke

2001 / Poetry / $12.95
9781894031486 / Trade paper / 48 pp

Edition is out of print

Gaspereau Press’ best-selling title, Execution Poems, is George Elliott Clarke’s complex lament for his late cousins, George and Rue—two Black men who were hanged for the murder of a taxi driver. After the overwhelming interest generated by the original limited letterpress edition of Execution Poems, Gaspereau Press released this trade edition which went on to win Canada’s highest literary honour in 2001. The jurors of the Governor General’s Literary Award called this book “raging, gristly, public—and unflinchingly beautiful,” and remarked on Clarke’s “explosive, original language.”

In 1949, George and Rufus Hamilton were hanged for the murder of a taxi driver in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fifty years later, Clarke has written, in his abundant style, a series of poems that embody both damnation and redemption, offering convoluted triumphs alongside tragedy and blurring the line between perpetrator and victim. What Clarke presents in Execution Poems is uncomfortable. He reminds us of racism and poverty; of their brutal, tragic results. He reminds us of society’s vengefulness. He blurs the line between the perpetrator and the victim—a line we’d prefer remain simple and clear. At the heart of it, Clarke is frustrating the notion that society deals any better with these issues today than it did in the 1940s.

“It is an engrossing and—dare I say it—brilliantly executed narrative that gave me the sort of pleasure that Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid did years ago.” Noah Richler, National Post

Has a Newer Edition: 9781554470815
Replaces Previous Edition: 9781894031349

Other Books by this Author

The Merchant of Venice (Retried)
George Elliott Clarke

2017 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
9781554471713 / Trade paper
George Elliott Clarke

2016 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN / $21.95 US
9781554471577 / Trade paper
George Elliott Clarke

2012 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN / $21.95 US
9781554471034 / Trade paper
George Elliott Clarke

2011 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN / $21.95 US
9781554470990 / Trade paper
George Elliott Clarke

2011 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
9781554470983 / Trade paper
Whylah Falls
George Elliott Clarke

2010 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN / $21.95 US
9781554470952 / Trade paper
Execution Poems
George Elliott Clarke

2009 / Poetry / $14.95 CAN / $14.95 US
9781554470815 / Trade paper
Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path
George Elliott Clarke

2007 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN / $21.95 US
9781554470372 / Trade paper
George Elliott Clarke

2003 / Poetry / $39.95 CAN / $39.95 US
9781894031752 / Fine
George Elliott Clarke

2003 / Poetry / $18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
9781894031745 / Trade paper
Africadian History: An Exhibition Catalogue
George Elliott Clarke

2001 / Poetry / $4.95 CAN / $4.95 US
9781894031523 / Pamphlet

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