George Elliott Clarke

Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 804, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Cinema
  • Graphic Texts
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Jewish Studies
  • Literary and Critical Theory
  • Opera Libretti & Songwriting
  • Political/Philosophical Texts
  • Pop/Pulp Culture Works
  • Romantic and Victorian Literature
  • South Asian Literature in English


"Assembling the Afro-Métis Syllabus:  Some Preliminary Reading." Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien.  42 (2022):  10-41.

“Jazzing Up Opera: A Defence of Québécité.” Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance. Eds. Mary I. Ingraham, Joseph K. So, and Roy Moodley. London: Routledge, 2015.

“Alice Munro’s Black Bottom; or Black Tints and Euro Hints in Lives of Girls and Women.” In Alice Munro: Reminiscence, Interpretation, Adaptation, and Comparison. Eds. Buchholtz Mirosława and Eugenia Sojka. Frankfurt, Berlin: Peter Lang Verlag, 2015. 147-71.

“An Anatomy of the Originality of African-Canadian Thought.” THE CLR JAMES JOURNAL 20:1–2, Fall 2014 : 65-82.

“Ian Fleming’s Canadian Cities.” Literature and the Glocal City: Reshaping the English Canadian Imaginary.” Ed. Ana Maria Fraile-Marcos. New York: Routledge, 2014. 160-181.

“‘Symposia’ in the Drama of Trey Anthony and Louise Delisle.” Theatre Research in Canada. Ed. Ric Knowles. 3o.1-2 (2009): 1-16. 

“Strategies for Legitimizing Difference: Mixed-Race Resistance in the Works of Andrea Thompson and Lorena Gale, Two African-Canadian Writers.” Canada: Images of a Post/National Society. Eds. Gunilla Florby, Mark Shackleton, and Katri Suhonen. Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2009. 259-275.

“Frederick Ward’s blistering blues.” ARC Poetry Annual 2010. Ottawa: Arc Poetry Society, 2009. 17-21.

“Embracing Beatrice Chancy.” Performing Adaptations: Essays & Conversations on the Theory and Practice of Adaptation. Eds. Michelle MacArthur, Lydia Wilkinson and Keren Zaiontz. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 223-226.

“Afterword: Let Us Now Attain Polyphonous Epiphanies.” Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke. Ed. Jon Paul Fiorentino. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008. 59-63.

“ ‘How White Are Your Whites?’ : A Response to Daniel Coleman’s White Civility: The Literary Project of English Canada.” International Journal of Canadian Studies. 38 (2008): 208-220.

“Is black just another hue of re-white-and-blue? Or, reading Africana: The Americanization of Africa and its diapora.” At Home in the World: Essays and Poems in Honour of Britta Olinder. Eds. Chloé Avril and Ronald Paul. Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenberg, 2008. 37-50.

“Repatriating Arthur Nortje.” Canadian Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transculturation. Eds. Norman Cheadle and Lucien Pelletier. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University, 2007. 121-138.

“The Odyssey of History.” The Odyssey by Derek Walcott. Programme Notes. Stratford, ON: Stratford Festival of Canada & Studio Theatre, July 27-September 28, 2007. 5-9.

“Discovering Cheng Sait Chia.” Arc. 58 (Summer 2007): 59-75.

“A Canadian is….” What Is a Canadian?: Forty-Three Thought-Provoking Responses. Ed. Irvin Studin. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2006. 27-31.

“Anna Minerva Henderson: An Afro-New Brunswick Response to Canadian (Modernist) Poetry.” Canadian Literature. 189 (Summer 2006): 32-48.

“The Idea of Europe in African-Canadian Literature.” Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien. Ed. Martin Kuenster. 26.2 (2006): 39-60. Augsberg, Germany: Wisser-Verlag, 2006.

“Let Us Compare Anthologies: Harmonizing the Founding African-Canadian and Italian-Canadian Literary Collections.” Belonging in Canada: Immigration and the Politics of Race and Ethnicity. Proceedings from the 19th Annual Reddin Symposium. Ed. Mark Kasoff. Bowling Green, OH: Canadian Studies Center, Bowling Green State University, 2006. 37-57.

“Does (Afro-) Caribbean-Canadian Literature Exist? In the Caribbean?” Journal of West Indian Literature. 14.1-2 (November 2005 [June 2006]): 260-302.

“Frederick Ward: Writing As Jazz.” Prairie Fire. 26.4 (Winter, 2005-06): 4-31.

“Writing the Pax Canadiana: Terror Abroad, Torture at Home.” Building Liberty: Canada and World Peace, 1945-2005. Eds. Conny Steenman-Marcusse and Aritha van Herk. Groningen, NL: Barkhuis Publishing, 2005. 213-36.

“Anne Szumigalski and Eli Mandel: Two Blakean Poets.” The 2004 Caroline Heath Memorial Lecture. Freelance. [Saskatchewan Writers Guild newsletter] 34.4 (January/February 2005): 5-7, & 34.5 (March/April 2005): 6-9.

“Towards a Pedagogy of African-Canadian Literature.” Moveable Margins: The Shifting Spaces of Canadian Literature. Ed. Chelva Kanaganayakam. Toronto: TSAR, 2005. 47-64.

"Must All Blackness Be American?: Locating Canada in Borden's 'Tightrope Time', or Nationalizing Gilroy's The Black Atlantic." Canadian Ethnic Studies. 28.3 (1996): 56-71. Reprinted in African-Canadian Theatre: Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, Volume Two. Ed. Maureen Moynagh. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005. 11-28.

“’This is no hearsay’: Reading the Canadian Slave Narratives.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. 43.1 (Spring 2005): 7-32.

“George Fetherling’s Selected Poetry: An Appreciation.” George Fetherling and His Work. Ed. Linda Rogers. Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2005. 42-48.

“In Defence of Multiculturalism.” Partners (Spring 2005): 25-6.

“Undead Poets’ Society.” Idea&s: The Arts & Science Review. [University of Toronto] 1.1. (Autumn 2004): 32-3. Reprinted in The Bulletin. [University of Toronto] 60.6 (October 24, 2006): 16.

“Correspondences and Divergences Between Italian-Canadian and African-Canadian Writers.” Canadian Multiculturalism: Dreams, Realities, Expectations. Eds. Matthew Zachariah, Allan Sheppard, Leona Barratt. Edmonton AB: Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation, 2004. 99-108. [Conference Proceedings. “Canada: Model for a Multicultural State Conference, Edmonton, AB, September 27, 2003.”]

“Afro-Gynocentric Darwinism in the Drama of George Elroy Boyd.” Canadian Theatre Review. 118 (Spring 2004): 77-84.

“Raising Raced and Erased Executions in African-Canadian Literature: Or, Unearthing Angélique.” Essays on Canadian Writing. 75 (Winter 2002): 30-61. Reprinted in Racism, Eh? A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology on Race in the Canadian Context. Eds. Camille A. Nelson and Charmaine A. Nelson. North York, ON: Captus Press, 2004. 65-84.

“Making the ‘Damn’ Nation the Race’s Salvation: the Politics of George Elroy Boyd’s Consecrated Ground.” Introduction. Testifyin’: Contemporary African Canadian Drama, Volume II. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2003. 393-6.

“Feeling the Blues Inside the Spirituals: Frederick Ward’s Somebody Somebody’s Returning.” Introduction. Testifyin’: Contemporary African Canadian Drama, Volume II. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2003. 283-5.

“Play Ebony, Play Ivory by Henry Dumas.” Lost Classics. Eds. Michael Ondaatje, Michael Redhill, Esta Spaulding, and Linda Spaulding. London: Bloomsbury, 2003: 29-31.

“Gospel as Protest: The African-Nova Scotia Spiritual and the Lyrics of Delvina Bernard.” Rebel Musics: Human Rights, Resistant Sounds, and the Politics of Music Making. Eds. Daniel Fischlin and Ajay Heble. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2003. 108-19.

“What Was Canada?” Is Canada Postcolonial?: Unsettling Canadian Literature. Ed. Laura Moss. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003. 27-39.

"Race and Racism in Canadian Literature." Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Ed. W.H. New. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. 922-926.

“Raising Raced and Erased Executions in African-Canadian Literature: Or, Unearthing Angélique.” Essays on Canadian Writing. 75 (Winter 2002): 30-61.

“Canadian Biraciality and Its “Zebra” Poetics. Intertexts. 6.2 (Fall 2002): 203-231.


The Quest for a "National" Nationalism:  E.J. Pratt's Epic Ambition, "Race" Consciousness, and the Contradictions of Canadian Identity.  St. John's (NL): Breakwater Books, 2021.

Traverse. Toronto: Exile Editions, 2014. Poetry. Second Printing: 2014.


“On Speaking VOICE: Vernacular, Orature, Imagery, Cadence, Emphasis.” ARC. 2015. [Forthcoming]

“No Grey Areas: Pierre Elliott Trudeau in Black & White.” La Vie En Rose. By George Walker. 2015. [Forthcoming]

Preface. Young Voices 2015. Toronto Public Library. 2015. [Forthcoming]

“Fixed date=rigged result.” NOW. 1750. 34.49 (July 13-19, 2015): 10.

“Rebooting ‘Utopia.’” Global Brief. 17 (Spring/Summer 2015): 64.

“Preface (to a Poem).” Each Book a Drum: 10 Years of Halifax Humanities. Halifax, NS: The Halifax Humanities Society, 2015. 13-14.

“Three Mile & Five Mile Plains—Windsor Plains.” The Times of African Nova Scotians, Volume Two. Halifax, NS: Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, 2015. 32-33.

“White cops, Black corpses: U.S. and Canada have histories of police violence against minorities.” National Post. (Saturday, April 11, 2015): A17.

“Malcolm X: A Real Champion of the Oppressed.” NOW. [Toronto, ON] #1723, 34.22 (February 5-11, 2015): 12.

“Strategy as Chess: The Checkered Record.” Global Brief. 16 (Fall/Winter 2015): 64.

“The leaps of thought.” The Dance Current. 17.5 (September/October 2014): 62.

“The preacher who went to war.” The Globe and Mail. [Toronto, ON] (Saturday, August 2, 2014): F3.

“Neruda’s Loving Sonnets.” Exile: The Literary Quarterly. 38.1 (2014): 36-37.

Collected Works: Poetry

War Canticles.  Vallum Chapbook series No. 34.  Montreal: Vallum Society for Arts and Letters Education, 2022.

J'Accuse...! (Poem Versus Silence). Toronto: Exile Editions, 2021.

White. Kentville (NS): Gaspereau Press, 2021.

“Early Spring in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.” Each Book a Drum: 10 Years of Halifax Humanities. Halifax, NS: The Halifax Humanities Society, 2015. 15-19.

“The Peacock’s Throne.” One poem. Recorded and broadcast on CBC Radio Toronto, Metro Morning. June 5, 2015. 

“Gospel of Nanny-of-the-Maroons.” One poem. Arts Etc. Barbados. [May 2015.]

“Victoria Summons Hall (October 1859).” One poem. The Maynard. April 2015.

“IX/XI.” One poem in Italian translation by Marco Fazzini. In Parole di Guerra: venti opere sul dolore e sul ricordo, 23 maggio-23 agosto, 2015. By Maffeo D’Arcole. Curated by Marco Fazzini. Vicenza, IT: The Arts Box & Siaca Arti Grafiche, Cento (FE), 2015. 42-45.

“On Sade” and “Isandlwana (1879).” Two poems. In/Words Magazine. 14.3 (Spring 2015). 21-23.

“Toronto: Greatness and Panam.” One poem. April 1, 2015.

“A Cristoforo Colombo (II)” and “Anatomy of La IIIe République.” Two poems. Canadian Literature. 222 (Autumn 2014): 12 & 30-33. 

“What’s Not to Love?” Metro. [Toronto, ON] February 14, 2015.

“Phillis Wheatley Remembers” and “Death of a Union Soldier: By Walt Whitman.” Two poems. Matrix. 100 (Winter 2015): 6-8.

“Cleopatra Eyes Julius Caesar,” “Memoir of Ste. Marie d’Égypte,” and “Elizabeth Barrett Browning Recalls Robert Browning’s Wooing (ca. 1847),” and “Septimus Clarke Scripts Church Minutes.” Four poems. Central European Journal of Canadian Studies. 9 (2014): 17-26.

“Port.” One poem. Prairie Fire. 35.4 (Winter 2014-15): 34-35.

“Blank Sonnet,” “Look Homeward, Exile,” and “Casualties.” Three poems. The Broadview Introduction to Literature: Concise Edition Lisa Chalykoff, Neta Gordon, and Paul Lumsden. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2015. 771-774.

“À Geeta.” One poem. Where the nights are twice as long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets. Ed. David Eso & Jeannette Lynes. Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane, 2015. 228-229.

The Confession of Marie-Josèphe Angélique, juin 1734,” “The Confession of Marie-Josèphe Angélique, juin 1734 [Unexpugated Translation,]” and “Fire!!!” Three poems. Event.
43.3 (Winter 2014/2015): 42-53.

“Memorial regarding the Demise of General Leclerc: By Pauline Bonaparte.” Eleven Eleven. Issue 18. Posted January 20, 2015.

“Hannibal Upon Rome,” “Longfellow Composes a ‘Blues,’” “Concerning Léopold II (ca. 1899),” “Frederick Douglass Considers General Robert E. Lee.” Four poems. African American Review. 47.1 (Spring 2014): 179-184.

“Translated from the Spanish” and “Au Tombeau de Keats.” Two poems. Translated into Chinese by Anna Yin. PoetrySky:

“The Damnation of Don Juan de Las Casas,” “A Bartolomé de Las Casas,” and “Inquest of Duquesa de Alba, la Duquesa Alba.” Three poems. Kola. 26.2 (Fall 2014): 15-25.

“From the Diary of William Andrew White, à Lajoux, Jura, France, décembre 1917.” One poem. Mounted in “Called to Serve; An Exhibit Honouring Canada’s Military Chaplains of All Faiths.” November 6-16, 2014, St. James Cathedral, Toronto, Ontario.

“A Letter from Henry Tucker, August 28, 1789.” One poem. The Best Canadian Poetry 2014. Ed. Sonnet L’Abbé. Toronto: Tightrope, 2014. 23-26.

“Guysborough Road Church.” One poem. CBC Massey Lectures. Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship. By Adrienne Clarkson. Toronto: Anansi, CBC, and Massey College, 2014. 107. 

“In the Congo (By William G. Stairs).” One poem. October 15, 2014.

Seven poems.

“Authorial Anxiety Apologia,” “Gloss,” “Gloss (II),” “Reparations Ode,” and “Zanzibar: A Meditation on Slavery.” Five poems. The Windsor Review. 47.1 (Winter 2014): 5-28.

“Berlin (I)” and “Berlin (II).” Two poems. Descant. 45.3 (Fall 2014): 193-194. 

“Bahamian Discourse.” One poem. Arts Etc. Barbados. [October 2014.]

“Rum: A Metaphysical Disquisition”; “The Liberation of Bahia Has Begun! (ca. 1835)”; and “Orphée Noir.” Three poems. Freefall. 24.3 (Fall 2014): 8-15.”

“Blueprint for an Elegy for B.A. (Rocky) Jones.” One poem. Passages & Prosperity. Halifax, NS: Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Summer 2014. Centerfold spread.

“Monologue for Selah Bringing Spring to Whylah Falls.” One poem. Another English: Anglophone Poems From Around the World. Eds. Catherine Barnett and Tiphanie Yanique. Chicago: Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute & Tupelo Press, 2014. 239-240.

“Anti-Hannibal,” “The Port of Nantes: Les details,” “Cambridge’s Speech (on St. Kitts),” and “The Brief Life of Terence.” Four poems. Untethered. 1.1 (August 2014): 32-41.

“Canticles: Hymns of the African Baptists of Nova Scotia. [Incl. The Gospel of X.]” One poem and introductory article. The Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 82.3 (September 2014): 591-605.

“Child Hood I” and “Child Hood II.” Two poems. Play: Poems About Childhood. Ed. Shane Neilson. Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2014. 63-66.

“Anti-Hannibal Elegy: By Juvenal.” One poem. Poem. 2.2 (Summer 2014): 31-36.

“The Narrative of Lincoln States [Not His Real Name]”: Parts III & IV. One Poem. Upstreet. 10 (2014): 55-57.

“How We Made the Grade.” One poem. 300 T-shirts printed for Walk With Excellence—2014 as gifts for graduates of C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute, Downsview Secondary School, Emery Collegiate Institute, and Westview Centennial Secondary School, Toronto, ON, June 13, 2014.

“Blake Drafts ‘The Little Black Boy.’” Light News. [Toronto: Luminato Arts Festival, June 12, 2014] 2.7: 1.

“Harriet Tubman Proceeds,” “Mary Anne Shadd Edits The Provincial Freeman,” “To Put Down Sojourner Truth,” “Du Bois Critiques Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha,” “Hannibal’s Charge,” and “A Key to Christopher Columbus’s Journals.” The Rusty Toque. Issue 6. May 30, 2014.

“A Prospect of Bahia (January 1835),” “Upon Commencing to Draft ‘Moses: A Story of the Nile’ (1860): By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper,” and “Paul Laurence Dunbar Selects a Theme.” Three poems. Existere. 33.2 (Spring/Summer 2014): 17-25.

I & I. Goose Lane Editions, 2009.

Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke, ed. Jon Paul Fiorentino. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008.

Black. Raincoast—Polestar Books, 2006.

Illuminated Verses. Canadian Scholars Press—Kellom Books, 2005.

Blue. Raincoast—Polestar Books, 2001, 2008.


George & Rue: A Novel. HarperCollins Canada, 2004; Secker & Warburg, 2005, Carroll & Graf, 2006; Vintage, 2006.


Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature. University of Toronto Press, 2002.


Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path. Gaspereau Press. 2007.

Québécité: A Jazz Fantasia in Three Cantos. Gaspereau Press. 2003.

Beatrice Chancy. Raincoast—Polestar Books, 1999, 2008.

Invited Lectures

“White Judges, Black Hoods: Hangings-as-Lynchings in Three Canadian True-Crime Texts.” Canadian Association of Law Librarians. Delta Beauséjour, Moncton, NB, May 4, 2015.

“Alice Munro’s Black Bottom: Black Tints and Euro Hints in Lives of Girls and Women.” Keynote Address, The 13th Annual Concordia English Graduate Colloquium, Concordia University, Montreal (QC), February 28, 2015.

“The Originality of African-Canadian Thought.” United Black Students (Ryerson University). Best Western Primrose Hotel, Toronto, ON, November 15, 2014.

“Alice Munro’s Black Bottom: Black Tints and Euro Hints in Lives of Girls and Women.” Arts & Humanities Building, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, November 12, 2014.

“Why Not an ‘African-Canadian’ Epic? Lessons from Pound, Pratt, and Walcott.” Senior College, Faculty Club, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, September 24, 2014.

“African-Nova Scotian Folk Traditions.” Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Zion Lutheran Church, Lunenburg, NS, August 7, 2014.

“The Originality of Afro-Canadian Thought.” Cultural Politics Seminar, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, May 5, 2014.


“Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path.” Canadian Theatre Review. 2006.

“Québécité: An Opera Libretto in Three Cantos.” Canadian Theatre Review. 2002.


[Many Kinds of Love: Heavenly, Earthy, and Hellish. Trans. of Whylah Falls.] Trans. Tong Renshan. Beijing: International Publishing, 2006. [Poetry]

Poeme Incendiare. Trans. Flavia Cosma. Oradea, Romania: Editura Cogito, 2006. [Poetry]


Beatrice Chancy: The Opera. Feature Film. Prod: CBC-TV. 2001.

Stage Productions

Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path. Wolfville, NS:  Summer Institute of the Trudeau Foundation, 2006; Toronto, ON: Africanadian Playwrights Festival, 2006; Toronto, ON:  Harbourfront Centre Corporation, 2007; Halifax, NS: Pier 21 Museum and Mulan Chinese Cultural Centre, 2007; Department of Political Science, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, 2008.

East Coasting, or Make It Beautiful. Toronto, ON:  CBC Radio, “Words & Music Series,” Glenn Gould Theatre, 2004.

Québécité: A Jazz Opera. Guelph ON: Guelph Jazz Festival, 2003; Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Jazz Festival, 2003.

Current Research

  • Writing new essays on African-Canadian Literature.
  • Writing new essays on Caribbean roots of African-Canadian Literature.

Awards and Honours

His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio (Italy) Center Fellowship (1998), Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and five honorary doctorates. 


BA, University of Waterloo
MA, Dalhousie University
PhD, Queen's University