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Canada’s Poet Laureate to Speak at Algoma U

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – March 16, 2017): Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate Dr. George Elliott Clarke will deliver the 2017 Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Lecture, titled “Musings on the Poet as Public Intellectual” in the Shingwauk Auditorium at Algoma U on Wednesday, March 29th at 6:30pm.

Dr. George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains in 1960. Clarke earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo, his Master of Arts from Dalhousie University, and his PhD from Queen’s University. He is currently the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. Clarke has served as Assistant Professor at Duke University, North Carolina, Seagrams Visiting Chair at McGill University, Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia, and Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison University. He has worked as a researcher, editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and columnist. Clarke has been awarded the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1988), the 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 Trudeau Fellow Prize (2005), among others.

Clarke is a revered poet and playwright. His works detail the life of Black Canadians in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Some of his notable works include, “Traverse” (2014), Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature (2012), Trudeau: Long March / Shinging Path (2006), Whylah Falls (1990), and “The River Pilgrim: A Letter” (1990).

Clarke’s visit is being funded in part by the Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Fund and is hosted by the Department of English and Film at Algoma U. The Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Fund was established to bring significant speakers in the fields of English and History to the University for the benefit of students. The Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Lecture series provides students with the opportunity to hear, meet, and speak with famous researchers, scholars, poets, and writers who might not otherwise visit Sault Ste. Marie.

In past years, Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Lectures have included the likes of Giller-prize winning author Elizabeth Hay; indigenous residential school historian Dr. Ian Mosby; public historian and Acting Director of Research, Exhibition, and Interpretation of the Canadian War Museum / Musée Canadian de la Guerre, Dr. Tim Cook; Dr. Jim Miller, one of Canada’s leading historians on aboriginal and non-aboriginal relations; award-winning Canadian poet, Lorna Crozier; and Governor General’s Award winner and four-time recipient of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, Guillermo Verdecchia.

For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Burnett, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film, at [email protected] or call 705.949.2301, Ext. 4324.

The event is free and open to the public.

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