George Elliott Clarke

George Elliott Clarke is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays and poetry. His publications include titles in Braille, Chinese, Italian, and Romanian. The inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. His recognitions include the Bellagio Center Fellowship (US), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), Encyclopedic Poetry School: International Fellow (China), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.

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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 a previous edition: 9781894031349

Other Books by this Author

George Elliott Clarke

2021 / Canadian Poetry / $29.95 CAN
9781554472307 / Trade paper / 256 pp
The Merchant of Venice (Retried)
George Elliott Clarke

2017 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN
9781554471713 / Trade paper / 64 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2016 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554471577 / Trade paper / 160 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2012 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554471034 / Trade paper / 152 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2011 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554470990 / Trade paper / 176 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2011 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN
9781554470983 / Trade paper / 160 pp
Whylah Falls
George Elliott Clarke

2010 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554470952 / Trade paper / 208 pp
Execution Poems
George Elliott Clarke

2009 / Poetry / $14.95 CAN
9781554470815 / Trade paper / 48 pp
Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path
George Elliott Clarke

2007 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554470372 / Trade paper / 128 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2003 / Poetry / $39.95 CAN
9781894031752 / Fine / 112 pp
George Elliott Clarke

2003 / Poetry / $18.95 CAN
9781894031745 / Trade paper / 112 pp
Africadian History: An Exhibition Catalogue
George Elliott Clarke

2001 / Poetry / $4.95 CAN
9781894031523 / Pamphlet / 16 pp

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