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George Elliott Clarke

Poet and author of The Motorcyclist, Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Officer of the Order of Canada, EJ Pratt Professor at University of Toronto

George Elliott Clarke's books include George and Rue, which won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; Execution Poems, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry; and Whylah Falls, winner of the Archibald Lampman Award for poetry and a selection for CBC's inaugural Canada Reads competition. In 2008, he was appointed to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer. He was recently the Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-2015), and currently serves as Parliamentary Poet Laureate, as well as the EJ Pratt Professor at the University of Toronto.
Courtesy of George Elliott Clarke

I Never Knew My Father As A Motorcyclist Until I Read His 1959 Diary

The most curious fact about my father's death, on August 31, 2005, at age 70, is that, as soon as it had happened, I knew I would write a novel based on his life. Parents are unavoidable for children, and I am not the first to believe his own to have been both more eccentric and more superb than the billions of other human beings who did not chance to give me life. But my father's life seemed novelistic for another reason: he -- William Lloyd Clarke -- had driven a motorcycle in his early 20s in the later 1950s.
02/11/2016 12:14 EST