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George Elliott Clarke named Canada’s parliamentary poet laureate

George Elliott Clarke has been appointed Canada's next parliamentary poet laureate. Global News

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia native George Elliott Clarke has been appointed Canada’s next parliamentary poet laureate.

The appointment was made Tuesday by Senate Speaker George Furey and Nova Scotia MP Geoff Regan, who is the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Clarke, who was born in Windsor, N.S. in 1960, is the seventh person to hold the position. He has won awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, the National MAgazine Awards’ Gold Medal for Poetry and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.

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He has been appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia and to the Order of Canada, and also holds eight honorary doctorates.

“George Elliott Clarke has been a true ambassador of the work of Canadian poets,” Furey said in a statement. “His contribution to Canada’s cultural fabric is exceptional.”

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Clarke recently completed a three-year term as poet laureate for the City of Toronto.

The position of parliamentary poet laureate was created in 2001 to draw attention to the reading and writing of poetry. Clarke’s duties will include composing poetry, sponsoring poetry readings and advising the parliamentary librarian on the library’s cultural collection.

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