The E.J. Pratt Lecture

Pratt Lecture 2018

The Department of English and the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences are delighted to announce that George Elliott Clarke will be giving the 2018 Pratt Lecture on Thursday, March 8th, at 8 p.m. in the LSPU Hall.

George Elliott Clarke is an author of unparalleled versatility, writing highly regarded fiction, drama, poetry, and criticism. His poetry collections include Whylah Falls, Canticles I and II, and Execution Poems, for which he won the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 2002. He is the author of two novels, George and Rue and The Motorcyclist. His plays include Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path. He has broken new ground in Canadian literary studies with his analyses of African-Canadian literature. An Officer of the Order of Canada, in 2017 he served as the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. 

In recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the Pratt Lecture, Clarke will be reconsidering E. J. Pratt's Towards the Last Spike (1953) and Brébeuf and His Brethren (1940), two presumptive epics that are "weakened by [Pratt's] essential promulgation of implicit and explicit racialism, which is also reflective of the impossibility of an ethically 'ethnic,' Canadian identity." All are welcome. There will be a reception following the event, with a cash bar. Admission is free.

The Pratt Lecture is the oldest public lecture at Memorial University. Past lecturers include Dionne Brand, Northrop Frye, Terry Eagleton, Ursula LeGuin, Alberto Manguel, and Anne Carson.



Pratt Lecture

The annual Pratt Lectures are published in pamphlet form and are available from the Department office.

Past Pratt Lectures


Department of English

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000