At the age of 21, he received first prize in poetry from the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia in 1981. In 1983, he was runner-up for the Bliss Carman Award for Poetry. While studying at Queens, he was named winner of the Archibald Lampman Award for poetry in 1991. While teaching at Duke, in 1998, he won the $25,000 Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts, That same year, he was awarded a Bellagio Center Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York City. In 1999, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University, and the University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from University of New Brunswick. On September 9, 2000, Clarke was awarded Outstanding Writer of a Canadian Feature Film, for One Heart Broken Into Song, by the Black Film and Video Network.
Clarke has also edited a two volume anthology, Fire on the Water: An Anthology of Black Nova Scotian Writing (1991-92) and is also the editor of Eyeing the North Star: Directions in African-Canadian Literature. In 2001, Clarke was awarded the Governor General's Award for poetry for his work Execution Poems.
(Bowker Author Biography)