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Execution Poems [Paperback]

George Elliott Clarke


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Book Description

Feb. 1 2001

Gaspereau Press' best-selling title, <I>Execution Poems</I>, is George Elliott Clarke's complex lament for his late cousins, George and Rue – two Black men who were hanged for the murder of a taxi driver. After the overwhelming interest generated by the original limited letterpress edition of <I>Execution Poems</I>, Gaspereau Press released this trade edition which went on to win Canada's highest literary honour in 2001. The jurors of the Governor General's Literary Award called this book "raging, gristly, public – and unflinchingly beautiful," and remarked on Clarke's "explosive, original language."

In 1949, George and Rufus Hamilton were hanged for the murder of a taxi driver in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fifty years later, Clarke has written, in his abundant style, a series of poems that embody both damnation and redemption, offering convoluted triumphs alongside tragedy and blurring the line between perpetrator and victim. What Clarke presents in <I>Execution Poems</I> is uncomfortable. He reminds us of racism and poverty; of their brutal, tragic results. He reminds us of society's vengefulness. He blurs the line between the perpetrator and the victim – a line we'd prefer remain simple and clear. At the heart of it, Clarke is frustrating the notion that society deals any better with these issues today than it did in the 1940s.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Gaspereau Press; 6 edition (Feb. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894031482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894031486
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,034,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“It is an engrossing and – dare I say it – brilliantly executed narrative that gave me the sort of pleasure that Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid did years ago.” Noah Richler, National Post

About the Author

George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Clarke won the Governor General Literary Award for poetry in 2001 for Execution Poems, published by Gaspereau Press. In 1998, Clarke won the prestigious Portia White Prize. He is presently lecturing at the University of Toronto.


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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beutifully ugly March 4 2006
By John Hampton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This collection of poems, which was actually a study by Clarke for his novel George and Rue, Is a masterfully crafted tale of two ill fated brothers. Told from their perspective as poems they wrote, the language gets a little rough ended, but is put together beautifully. Read it again and again to truly grasp this dark portrait of the minds of two accidental killers.

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