Poets delight audience

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Poets delight audience

Published on September 27 2013

For many, the wait was finally over.

Canadian poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke and Jamaican poet and scholar Pamela Mordecai were finally introduced at the latest installment of the Faculty of Education's Distinguished Speaker Series, having been delayed since last April's cancellation due to inclement weather.

Gathering in the intimate setting of Alphie’s Bistro, friends, family and those who were simply there to enjoy an evening listening to two of our most eminent African-Canadian poets, settled in for an evening of witty banter, laughter and of course, some inspiring poetry.

With a notable buzz of excitement in the room prior to the evening’s proceedings, the audience’s excitement and engagement levels steadily rose as their discussion, "Audible Motion: New School Black Verse" began. 

Clarke and Mordecai took turns giving spirited readings of each other’s works.

In between the readings, the two poets had an opportunity to share their insights, not just on poetry itself, but the effects it has on young minds and how it can be incorporated into the classroom.

“The learning of poetry is made easier by reading it aloud,” said Clarke. “You have to read it out loud; the poem is a play and only becomes clear when you understand the emotion behind the poem.”

Mordecai agreed, stating that, “it is important to tell a story”.

Each poet read a few of each other’s poems, and by night’s end, Clarke had the opportunity to read some of his work from his new published children’s book – which he was seeing for the first time in hard copy.

The poet’s both had books for sale at the event and there were more than a few attendees who left with the works of the two prominent poets.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is put on through the Faculty of Education and would like to thank Drs. Lissa Paul, Kari-Lynn Winters, Shelley Griffin, Trevor Norris and Sharon Abbey for their hard work and efforts in making such an even possible.

The next installment of the Distinguished Speaker Series will take place this November. Please visit the faculty’s web page at www.brocku.ca/education for more details as they arise.

Clarke and Mordecai