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Tartan Turban Secret Readings #33

February 25, 2022, 7:00 PM8:30 PM EST


You are invited to the 33rd session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by Dr Amatoritsero Ede, featuring George Elliott Clarke, Lillian Allen, Clifton Joseph, Bertrand Bickersteth and H Nigel Thomas.


Dr. Amatoritsero Ede is an internationally award-winning poet born in Nigeria. He has three poetry collections, A Writer’s Pains & Caribbean Blues (1998), Globetrotter & Hitler’s Children (2009) and recently, Teardrops on the Weser (2021). His debut won the prestigious All Africa Okigbo Prize for Literature in 1998, the second was nominated for the Nigerian Literature Prize in 2013. In 2004, he won second prize in the first May Ayim Award: International Black German Literary Prize. He appears in 14 poetry anthologies locally and internationally. Ede is also a literary scholar and Assistant Professor of English at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. He is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement, MTLS .

Featured writers

George Elliott Clarke is the 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary/Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-17). He 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 (U.K., 2013), Traverse (2015), and Canticles II (MMXX) (2020).

Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Two time JUNO Award winner and trailblazer in the field of spoken word and dub poetry, Allen artistically explores the aesthetics of old and new sounds in music to create her distinctive leading edge brand of Canadian reggae with new world sounds in her poetry recordings, with her powerful reggae dub poetry/spoken word recordings including her latest single Woken & Unbroken (2018), album ANXIETY (2012), her groundbreaking first solo Juno award-winning album Revolutionary Tea Party, a Ms. Magazine Landmark Album, followed by another Juno winner, Conditions Critical. Her third album, Freedom & Dance and her recording for children and young people, Nothing But a Hero, were released to critical acclaim.

Dubzz/poet/at/large Clifton Joseph is a poet and journalist living in Toronto. A founding member of the dub poetry movement in Canada, he has performed widely across this country, the US, UK, Europe and the Caribbean; & released Metropolitan Blues, a book of poems, and the CD Oral Trans/Missions. He has written for the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, This, Toronto life and Canadian Geographic magazines; and at CIUT, CKLN and CBC radio; movie reviewer for CTV’s Canada AM; at Imprint, TVOntario’s literary talk show; national reporter for CBC TV’s The National and investigative reporter for Undercurrents and Marketplace. Among his awards are two Gemini Awards; a Silver Fleece Award from the Chicago film festival; a Time-Warner Freddies Award for International health reporting; and the Peter Tosh Memorial Award from the Canadian Reggae Music Awards. his latest recordings are the single Where’re the politicians and not poem.

Bertrand Bickersteth is a poet, playwright, essayist and educator who was born in Sierra Leone and raised in Alberta. His collection of poetry, The Response of Weeds, was a finalist for multiple awards and won both the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. His writing has appeared in many places including Geist, The Malahat Review, The Walrus, The Sprawl, and the CBC project Black on the Prairies. He lives in Calgary, teaches at Olds College, and writes about Black identity on the Prairies.

H. Nigel Thomas is a retired professor of United States literature and the author of thirteen books: six novels, three collections of short fiction, two collections of poems—Moving through Darkness (2000) and The Voyage (2021)— and two academic books. His novels Spirits in the Dark (1993) and Easily Fooled (2015) were shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award. The French translation of Lives: Whole and Otherwise—Des vies cassées—was a finalist for the Carbet des lycéens award. He is the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings and the editor of Kola. In 2000, he received the Montreal Association of Business Persons and Professionals’ Jackie Robinson Award for Professional of the Year; in 2013, Université Laval’s Hommage aux créateurs; in 2019, the Montreal Black Theatre Workshop’s Martin Luther King Junior Achievement Award; and, in 2021, the Quebec Writers’ Federation Judy Mappin Community Award.