Red

By George Elliott Clarke

Red
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Red joins George Elliott Clarke’s previous ‘colouring’ books?Blue and Black?in which he displays an expansive range of poetic forms and rhetorical poses. Its poems mix the candid sexuality of pre-Christian Rome with the pop sentimentally of Italian screen scores of the ... Read more


Overview

Red joins George Elliott Clarke’s previous ‘colouring’ books?Blue and Black?in which he displays an expansive range of poetic forms and rhetorical poses. Its poems mix the candid sexuality of pre-Christian Rome with the pop sentimentally of Italian screen scores of the 1960s and 70s, drenching us in the brute violence of Titus Andronicus, the reflections of Malcolm X and the music of Charles Mingus (whose “bass sounds like a typewriter/Punctuating Ulysses”). Whether he situates his reader in his father’s Halifax cab, on a beach in Rhodes, or in front of Alma Duncan’s painting Young Black Girl, Clarke is ever sensitive to “the hard work of words,/The even harder work of love. ” Red rings with Clarke’s lush voice, full-throated and unparalleled.

 

George Elliott Clarke

Acclaimed for his narrative lyric suites (Whylah Falls and Execution Poems), his lyric “colouring books” (Blue, Black, Red, and Gold), his selected poems (Blues and Bliss), his opera libretti and plays (Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path), George Elliott Clarke now presents us with his epic-in-progress, Canticles, a work that views History as a web of imperialism, enslavement, and insurrection. A native Africadian, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate ranges the atlas and ransacks the library to ink lines unflinching before Atrocity and unquiet before Oppression.

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