Whylah Falls

George Elliott Clarke

Whylah Falls

An exuberant, book-length narrative poem that includes snatches of lyric, songs and sonnets, Whylah Falls is the fictionalized portrait of a black community in Nova Scotia in the early 20th century. It features a grand passion, a chilling crime and a family's struggle with loss, all rendered in lively, engaging detail.

Whylah Falls was a contender in the inaugural edition of Canada Reads, in 2002. It was defended by Nalo Hopkinson.


"Desire illuminates the dark manuscript

of our skin with beetles and butterflies.

After the lightning and rain has ceased,

after the lightning and rain of lovemaking

has ceased, Selah will dive again into the

sunflower-open river."

From Whylah Falls by George Elliott Clarke ©1990; 2010 edition published by Gaspereau Press.

10 modern classic collections: