Audible Motion: New School Black Verse

Faculty of Education

Audible Motion: New School Black Verse

George Elliot Clarke and Pamela Mordecai

Talk Delivered Thursday, September 26, 2013
Alphie's Bistro


In contrast to the dead language of texts used in the name of literacy education, please come to an inspiriting conversation between two of our most eminent African-Canadian poets, George Elliott Clarke and Pamela Mordecai. Their presentation, covering classtime, playtime and contemplation, will engage the “illicit” and “subversive” aspects of their respective new verse collections. 


DR.GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE, E.J.  Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, and current poet laureate of Toronto, was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. One of Canada’s most recognized poets, his collections include Execution Poems (for which he won the Governor General’s Poetry award), and Red (2011). Dr. Clarke is also a noted playwright, librettist, anthologist and scholar.  Clarke’s latest collection of verse is Illicit Sonnets (2013) and his first collection of verse for youth, Lasso the Wind: Aurelia’s Verses and Other Poems, will be published next month. He joins us from Harvard University, where he is the current William Lyon Mackenzie King Chair of Canadian Studies.

A former language arts teacher, DR. PAMELA MORDECAI has written textbooks, articles on Caribbean literature, language education, and publishing, poems and stories for children, including the wonderful Pink Icing (2006), and poems and short stories for adults. A play, El Numero Uno, commissioned by Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, had its premiere in their 2009-2010 season. Her Good Friday poem, de man, written in Jamaican Creole, has been performed widely in Canada and Jamaica. She has also written a reference work, Culture and Customs of Jamaica, with her husband, Martin, and edited ground-breaking anthologies of Caribbean literature such as Jamaica Woman (with Mervyn Morris), Her True-True Name (with Betty Wilson), and From Our Yard: Jamaican Poetry since Independence. Her fifth collection of poetry, Subversive Sonnets, was published in 2012.



clarke and mordecai at event
Dr. George Elliott Clarke and Dr. Pamela Mordecai

Two of the nation's most eminent African-Canadian poets joined the Faculty of Education on Sept. 26, 2013


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