Episode #1 – Poet Laureate: George Elliott Clarke

What does racism look like in modernity?

In their debut episode, Paul and Jordan speak with the unconventional, parliamentary poet laureate – with a penchant for expressing the taboo – and beloved English professor, George Elliott Clarke. With characteristic grace and humour, he shares insight on the value of teaching poetry as a “living tradition,” the legacy of racism in Canada, and how institutions still need to change in order for there to be a truly just society. Plus, he tackles one of the most profound and, perhaps, difficult of all human experiences: love.

Mentioned Media:

2:26 – “I was probably the only poet in the country with a book with a preface by Justin Trudeau…”
___See: Trudeau: La Vie en Rose by George A. Walker

3:10 – “One of the things that fascinated me recently was your interview on TVO…”
___See: George Elliott Clarke: The Colour of Policing

17:45 – “To get away from race for a moment, the G20 disturbances…”
___See: The Globe and Mail’s G20-related mass arrests unique in Canadian history

26:08 – “The Magna Carta has recently been on display…”
___See: Exhibition at Canadian History Museum from June 12, 2015 to July 26, 2015

34:01 – “What I describe as African Canadian literature, Black Canadian writing…”
___See: Lawrence Hill (Book of Negroes), Dionne Brand, and Austin Clarke, as well as Black History Canada.

41:30 – Click to view a selection of George Elliott Clarke’s poems, through the Poetry Foundation.

45:53 – “In my book Red…”
___See: Red by Goerge Elliott Clarke

56:22 – “The reason why a human being, or human beings went to the moon was because of John F. Kennedy’s poetry…”
___See: Poetry and Power – The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy
_______JFK on Poetry, Power, and the Artist’s Role in Society: His Eulogy for Robert Frost, One of the Greatest Speeches of All Time by Maria Popova
_______The poetry, persuasion of JFK’s speeches by Agence France-Presse

Related Casts:

Episode #55 – Founder of the Guardian Angels: Curtis Sliwa

Episode #22 – Vietnam War Veteran: Bill Lawson

Episode #15 – Norm Kelly

Episode #5 – Ex-Neo-Nazi: Christian Picciolini

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