Fighting Words: A Cure for War Fever


  • George Elliott Clarke, Poet; and Gary Geddes, Poet
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Thursday, September 29, 5-6:30pm, with reception to follow
    in the series
    Green College Special Event

    Don’t miss this dynamic duo, Gary Geddes with his gripping narrative poems and seamless impersonations and George Elliott Clarke with his stunningly eclectic poems and high-octane vocabulary, two consummate performers who refuse the notion that "poetry makes nothing happen" (W. H. Auden). In these times of war and climate crisis, their unique and engaged approaches make a strong case for poetry as both a call to action and a source of healing, speaking to the wound in each of us, that part which is so often in ruins. Their anti-war poetry not only flies beneath the radar, nests in the ear and bloodstream and alters the brain chemistry, but also achieves what Dylan Thomas calls “that momentary peace which is the poem."

    Tea and coffee will be available in the Piano Lounge at 4:30 pm.

    • George Elliott Clarke
      Painting of George Elliott Clarke is by Abigail (paint on paper, 2022)

      The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary/Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1960. A professor of English at the University of Toronto, Clarke has also taught at Duke, McGill, UBC and Harvard. His recognitions include the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre Fellowship (US), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and International Fellow Poet of the Year, Encyclopedic Poetry School [2019] (China). His acclaimed titles include Whylah Falls (1990, translated into Chinese), Beatrice Chancy (1999, translated into Italian), Execution Poems (2001), Blues and Bliss (selected poems, 2009), I & I (2008), Illicit Sonnets (UK, 2013), Traverse (2015), and Canticles II (MMXX) (2020).


      • Gary Geddes
        Gary Geddes has written and edited over fifty books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation and anthologies, and won a dozen national and international literary awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the National Magazine Gold Award, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and the Gabriela Mistral Prize from the government of Chile, awarded simultaneously to Octavio Paz, Vaclav Havel, Ernesto Cardenal, Rafael Alberti and Mario Benedetti. He taught Creative Writing at Concordia University and has served as Writer in Residence at Green College, UBC and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and as Distinguished Professor of Canadian Cutlure at Western Washington University in Bellingham. His latest works are The Resumption of Play, Medicine Unbundled: A Journey Through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care, The Ventriloquist: Poetic Narratives from the Womb of War, and The Oysters I Bring to Banquets. He lives on Thetis Island, BC.
    • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.



September 29th, 2022 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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