Poetry and Healing:
In Conversation with George Elliott Clarke and Pamela Mordecai
When was your last villanelle vaccination? Did you try applying an ointment of ode? Poetry’s immediacy—its rhythm, its viscous concision—can cut to the bone. But it can also suture our wounds and soothe our pain. Uncover the mysterious healing properties of poetry with special guests George Elliott Clarke and Pamela Mordecai. Moderated by Lamees Al Ethari.
Early Bird $10 • Online $12 • At the Door $15
GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE is an internationally-renowned poet and scholar whose books—including his highly-esteemed poetry collections Execution Poems and Whylah Falls—have won him many honours, including the Portia White Prize (1998), the Governor General’s Literary Award (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005). Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Clarke presently resides in Toronto where he is E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. George served as Canada’s seventh Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016–17).
LAMEES AL ETHARI immigrated to Canada with her husband and two boys in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching academic and creative writing since 2015.
Her poetry has been published in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, and printed as broadsides. Her collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris was published in 2018 and her memoir on the American invasion of Iraq, Waiting for the Rain, was published in 2019.
Jamaican-Canadian author PAMELA MORDECAI writes stories and poems for adults and children. A former language arts teacher with a PhD in English, she has authored/co-authored numerous textbooks and edited/co-edited groundbreaking anthologies of Caribbean writing, especially the writing of women. Her poetry for children is widely anthologized and used in textbooks and online curricula in the US, UK, Europe, West Africa, the Caribbean and the Far East. She has published six books of poetry, most recently SUBVERSIVE SONNETS (TSAR, 2012) and DE BOOK OF MARY: A PERFORMANCE POEM (Mawenzi House, 2015). Her debut novel, RED JACKET was shortlisted for the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. DE MAN A PERFORMANCE POEM, a verse play in Jamaican Creole about the crucifixion of Jesus, has been performed across Canada and in the Caribbean. She and her husband, Martin, have recently relocated to Toronto.
Photo Credit: David Mordecai