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Clarke shortlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

November 16, 2006

Source: University of Toronto

Professor writes both poetry and proseNov 16/06by Michah Rynor (about) (email)

Professor George Elliott Clarke of English is among the nominees for the 2007 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

A list of 138 nominees from 45 countries was recently released by the Dublin public libraries system which administers the awards.

Clarke’s novel George and Rue (Harper Flamingo) has received glowing reviews both nationally and internationally and is based on the execution of members of Clarke’s own family as the result of a decades-old murder.

Chosen as one of the Toronto Star’s Best Reads of 2006, the book is a fictionalized account of brothers George and Rue Hamilton, part Mi’maq and part African, who are charged in the killing of a cab driver in Barker’s Point, N.B. The brothers were the author’s matrilineal first cousins once removed. Clarke knew nothing of this painful episode in his family’s history until 1994. Upon learning of it, he set out to investigate the circumstances of the crime. Clarke also wrote a book of poetry on the subject entitled Execution Poems.

"George amazes everyone in the literary community with his ability to excel simultaneously as a creative writer, research scholar and mentor," said Sonnet L’Abbé, who teaches creative writing at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies and who regularly reviews poetry for The Globe and Mail. "He is the quintessential artist-researcher, an excellent asset to U of T and Canadian culture as a whole."

Camilla Gibb, who received her BA from University College in 1991 and was the 2006 Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence at Massey College, is also on the nominee’s list for her book Sweetness in the Belly (Doubleday Canada). David Gilmour, who received his BA in 1972 from Victoria College, is nominated for his book A Perfect Night to Go to China (Thomas Allen and Son). The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Knopf Canada) by Victoria College graduate Margaret Atwood is also nominated.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind in the world, involving nominations by libraries from all corners of the globe. It is open to books written in any language and is a partnership among the municipal government of Dublin, Dublin city council and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company operating in more than 50 countries.



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