12 May 2017

When crowds across North America and Europe arrive at the shows on Irish rock band U2’s Joshua Tree anniversary tour, they will be greeted with the poetry of 2005 fellow George Elliott Clarke. The band has chosen his poems Elegy for Leonard Cohen, written after Cohen’s passing, and Ain’t You Scared of the Sacred?: A Spiritual, which was written in response to the shooting at a Quebec City Mosque in January 2017 which left six dead and many more injured. Clarke, who is currently the poet laureate of the Canadian Parliament, believes "that the purpose of the slow scrolling of the words from these poems is to encourage the attendees to reflect on the social political context in which culture happens, in which art, poetry and music get made."

Read the full story here and read Clarke’s poems from his time as poet laureate here

George Elliott Clarke

Mr. Clarke specializes in African-Canadian and African-American history and culture.

2005 Fellows