Blue

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Polestar, 2001 - Poetry - 157 pages
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This incandescent book subscribes to the adage that "Good poems should rage like a fire, burning all things." Blue is black, profane, surly, damning - and unrelenting in its brilliance. Clarke writes: "I craved to draft lyrics that would pour out like Pentecostal fire - pell mell, scorching, bright, loud: a poetics of arson." Blue is divided into five parts that skillfully turn rage into a violet bruise of love and mourning. From the "Nasty Nofaskoshan Negro" of the Black section to the shocking satires of the red section, from the fierce tenderness of Gold Sapphics to the haunting lament of Blue Elegies, Clarke has written urgent and necessary poems - poems that burn and illuminate with their fury, truth, and beauty.

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About the author (2001)

George Elliott Clarke, Febraury 12, 1960 - George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor Plains, Nova Scotia on February 12, 1960. He earned an Honours B.A. in English from the University of Waterloo, an M.A. in English from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D awarded by Queens University. After college, he accepted a position as assistant professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, where he taught topics such as nationalism, post-colonialism, and New World African Literature. In September 1998, he transferred to McGill University in Montréal and became the third Seagram Visiting Chair of Canadian Studies for 1998-1999. He also taught at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor in English. At the age of 21, he received first prize in poetry from the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia in 1981. In 1983, he was runner-up for the Bliss Carman Award for Poetry. While studying at Queens, he was named winner of the Archibald Lampman Award for poetry in 1991. While teaching at Duke, in 1998, he won the $25,000 Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts, That same year, he was awarded a Bellagio Center Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York City. In 1999, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University, and the University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from University of New Brunswick. On September 9, 2000, Clarke was awarded Outstanding Writer of a Canadian Feature Film, for One Heart Broken Into Song, by the Black Film and Video Network. Clarke has also edited a two volume anthology, Fire on the Water: An Anthology of Black Nova Scotian Writing (1991-92) and is also the editor of Eyeing the North Star: Directions in African-Canadian Literature. In 2001, Clarke was awarded the Governor General's Award for poetry for his work Execution Poems.

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