Execution Poems by George Elliot Clarke
The Black Acadian Tragedy of "George and Rue"
8vo. pp. 47. b/w text illustrations. paperback wrs. (fine condition). [Wolfville, N.S.]: Gaspereau Press, .
ISBN-10: 1894031482 / ISBN-13: 9781894031486
winner of the 2001 Governor General's award for poetry and took first place in the poetry category of the 2001 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Canadian Book Design
Execution Poems is a suite of poems about Clarke's cousins, George and Rufus Hamilton, who were hanged in July 1949 for the murder of a Fredericton, New Brunswick, taxi driver. In this startling work, Clarke reminds us of racism and poverty and of their brutal, tragic results, blurring the line between the perpetrator and the victim-a line we'd prefer to be simple and clear. As all true poetry should, Clarke's embodies both damnation and redemption, offering convoluted triumphs alongside tragedy.