Austin Chesterfield Clarke was born in Barbados in 1934 and emigrated to Canada to attend University of Toronto in 1955. He quickly became a leader of the civil rights movement in Toronto. In his work from 1965 to 1973 as a journalist and broadcaster, he produced documentaries and interviews with artists and leaders of the civil rights movement. Between 1968 and 1974, Austin served as visiting professor at several universities and assisted in setting up Black Studies programs at Yale and Harvard. In 1974 he became cultural attaché of the Barbadian Embassy in Washington, and from 1975 to 1977, served as general manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados. From 1973 to 1976, he served as advisor to the Prime Minister of Barbados. Austin has sat on many boards, including the controversial Immigration and Refugee Board, between 1989 and 1994. His acclaimed body of work includes The Origin of Waves, the Giller Prize-Winning The Polished Hoe and Choosing His Coffin.
Festivals: 1997, 2003, 2008 (fall)