THE BLACK SPRING PRESS GROUP

Books Concerning Race, Racism, Racialisation and the BAME Experience

Illicit Sonnets

Illicit Sonnets – a bawdy modern reboot of Sonnets from the Portuguese – tells of the love between Salim and Laila, an “elderessa”. Their highly-sexed romance, bridging cultures, generations and seas, is unfolded in poetry as sparkling and as shameless as champagne.

George Elliott Clarke (1960) is descended from African-American refugees from the War of 1812, who escaped to the British and were relocated to Nova Scotia, where he was born. He is one of the most popular Canadian poets. He has won The Governor General''s Award for Poetry in 2001 for Execution Poems. His classic verse-novel, Whylah Falls (1990) was selected in the CBC’s national poll, Canada Reads, in 2002. He now teaches African-Canadian literature — a field that he pioneered — at the University of Toronto. In 2013-14 he will be a visiting professor at Harvard University. He is Poet Laureate of Canada.

A new discovery for me was Canadian poet George Elliott Clarke's, Illicit Sonnets, published over here by the tiny Eyewear Press – a good present if you wish to remind your other half that middle-aged or elderly people still have sex. - Louise Doughty, The Observer

It's a tonic to come across a distinctly erotic book of poetry. George Elliot Clarke’s Illicit Sonnets  is just that... Clarke wallows in an exuberant, exaggerated poetry, owing something to Gerald Manley Hopkins and to John Berryman – while the sequence recalls George Meredith’s Modern Sonnets. Sprung versification, alliteration, puns and archaisms proliferate, and the general tone, appropriately enough, is ejaculatory. - Anthony Howells, Fortnightly Review

An Observer Book Of The Year 2013 - Selected by the Author of Apple Tree Yard, (BBC Series)

Clarke carries his words from our heads to our hearts to that gut feeling we all get when we have heard a devastating truth. - Nikki Giovanni


Rough, uncompromising and ultimately heartbreaking.—The Times

This formidably crafted recreation of a desperate episode should win widespread acclaim. — The Independent



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