PARLIAMENT of CANADA
Home Parliamentary Business Senators and Members About Parliament Visitor Information Employment

THE PARLIAMENTARYPOET LAUREATE

ABOUT CURRENT POET
LAUREATE
FORMER POETS
LAUREATE
POEM OF
THE MONTH
NOMINATION
PROCESS
CONTACT

CURRENT POET LAUREATE

George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2016-2017

George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2016-2017

On January 5, 2016, the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. George J. Furey, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Geoff Regan, announced the appointment of George Elliott Clarke as Canada’s next Parliamentary Poet Laureate. On January 1st, Mr. Clarke became Canada’s seventh Poet Laureate, succeeding Mr. Michel Pleau, whose term ended December 31, 2015.

Biography

A revered poet, George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. A graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.A., Hons., 1984), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1989) and Queen's University (Ph.D., 1993), he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. An Assistant Professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, North Carolina (1994-99), Clarke also served as the Seagrams Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill University (1998-99), and as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia (2002) and as a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison University (2005), and as the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies at Harvard University (2013-14). He has also worked as a research, editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and newspaper columnist. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, but he also owns land in Nova Scotia.

His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (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 eight honorary doctorates. He has recently completed his three year term as the City of Toronto’s Poet Laureate.

Poems

  • Poem written and read by Mr. Clarke at his investitureAlexandria Alight (March 2016)

    Poems to commemorate the Centre Block fire of 1916Parliamentary Incendiary | No title (February 2016)

    Honouring Pierre DesRuisseaux, Canada's 4th Parliamentary Poet LaureateReading Pierre DesRuisseaux (January 2016)
  • Bibliography

    News

    Titles with an asterisk* are available in French only

  • 5 January 2016
    The Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons announced Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate