Notable Leader

Austin Clarke

Austin Clarke

Austin Ardinel Chesterfield “Tom” Clarke, CM Ont. (July 26, 1934 – June 26, 2016),[1] was a Barbadian novelist, essayist, and short story writer who was based in Toronto, Ontario.

Austin Clarke was born in 1934 in St. James, Barbados, where he received his early education in Anglican schools.[2] He taught at a rural school for three years. In 1955 he moved to Canada and attended the University of Toronto for two years.[2]
Among his notable books are novels such as The Polished Hoe (2002), memoirs including ‘Membering (2015), and two collections of poetry, Where the Sun Shines Best (2013) and In Your Crib (2015).

Clarke was a reporter in the Ontario communities of Timmins and Kirkland Lake before joining the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a freelance journalist. He taught subsequently at several American universities, including Yale University (Hoyt fellow, 1968–70), Duke University (1971–72), and the University of Texas (visiting professor, 1973).[3][4]

In 1973 he was designated cultural attaché at the Barbadian embassy in Washington, DC. He was later General Manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados (1975–77).[5] Returning to Canada, in 1977 he ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario election.[2] He was a writer in residence at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (1977), and at the University of Western Ontario (1978).[3] He became a Canadian citizen in 1981.[2] From 1988 to 1993 he served on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.[6]

In September 2012, at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA), Clarke was announced as the winner of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize “on the merits of his published work and efforts in fostering literary talent in new and aspiring writers.
Clarke died on June 26, 2016, at the age of 81 in Toronto.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
[1] “Obituary: Austin Clarke, author”, The Scotsman, 27 June 2016.
[2] Murray Whyte, “Acclaimed Toronto author Austin Clarke dead at 81”, Toronto Star, June 27, 2016.
[3] “Austin C. Clarke”, Gale Contemporary Black Biography.
[4] “Austin Clarke”, The Canadian Encyclopedia.
[5] “Austin Clarke”, Alliaougana Festival website, 2010.
[6] Austin Clarke biography at Bim Literary festival and Book Fair, 2012.