The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most generous poetry award. It was founded in 2000 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin. The awards go to one Canadian and one international poet who writes in the English language.
|Griffin Poetry Prize|
|Awarded for||Canadian and International awards for poetry written in or translated into English|
|Presented by||Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry and Scott Griffin|
Effective 2010, the annual Griffin Poetry Prize was doubled from CAD$100,000 to CAD$200,000 in recognition of the prize’s tenth anniversary. The increased amount of $100,000 will be awarded as follows: CAD$10,000 to each of the seven shortlisted – four international and three Canadian – for their participation in the shortlist readings. The winners, announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards evening, will be awarded CAD$65,000 each, for a total of CAD$75,000 that includes the CAD$10,000 awarded at the readings the previous evening.
In April 2000, Scott Griffin started the Griffin Trust to raise public awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in society's cultural life. Griffin served as its Chairman, with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. In June 2004, Carolyn Forché joined the board of Trustees. New trustees have been named as follows: in 2014, Karen Solie, Colm Tóibín and Mark Doty, in 2016, Jo Shapcott and Marek Kazmierski, in 2018, Ian Williams and in 2020, Sarah Howe. Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, Jo Shapcott and Colm Tóibín have assumed the role of Trustees Emeriti.
The Trust created the Griffin Poetry Prize with the aim of helping to introduce contemporary collections of poetry to the public's imagination. Originally, the award was two annual prizes of CAD$40,000 each, for collections of poetry published in English during the preceding year. One prize for a living Canadian poet, the other to a living poet from any other country, which could include Canada. Qualified judges are selected annually by the Trustees. The prize shortlists are announced in April (National Poetry Month) every year. The shortlisted poets gather for an evening of public readings every May/June, and the winners are announced and all the poets are feted the following evening.
Each year, selections from the shortlisted works are gathered in The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, typically edited by one of that year's judges. In 2019, House of Anansi Press partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) to offer the anthology in print and digital Braille editions.
Eligible collections of poetry must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the prior year. Submissions must come from publishers only.
The Griffin Trust has championed other initiatives since its inception, including a statue in tribute to poet Al Purdy, participation in international poetry festivals, and donations of poetry books to various organizations, including the Correctional Service of Canada, Scottish Poetry Library, Slave Lake Public Library (which was destroyed in a wildfire in 2011) and other libraries, schools and colleges.
Finalists, Judges and Lifetime Recognition recipientsEdit
Winners are listed first and highlighted with bold.
- Anne Carson, Men in the Off Hours
- Robert Bringhurst, Nine Visits to the Mythworld
- Don McKay, Another Gravity
- Nikolai Popov and Heather McHugh, translation of Glottal Stop: 101 Poems from the German written by Paul Celan
- Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld, translation of Open Closed Open from the Hebrew written by Yehuda Amichai
- Fanny Howe, Selected Poems
- Les Murray, Learning Human
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Gord Downie
- Christian Bök, Eunoia
- Erín Moure, Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person
- Karen Solie, Short Haul Engine
- Alice Notley, Disobedience
- Victor Hernández Cruz, Maraca
- Christopher Logue, Homer: War Music
- Les Murray, Conscious and Verbal
Guest host at awards ceremony: Albert Schultz
- Margaret Avison, Concrete and Wild Carrot
- Dionne Brand, thirsty
- P. K. Page, Planet Earth: Poems Selected and New
- Paul Muldoon, Moy Sand and Gravel
- Kathleen Jamie, Mr And Mrs Scotland are Dead: Poems 1980-1994
- Gerald Stern, American Sonnets: poems
- C. D. Wright, Steal Away: selected and new poems
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Heather McHugh
- August Kleinzahler, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep
- Suji Kwock Kim, Notes From the Divided Country
- David Kirby, The Ha-Ha
- Louis Simpson, The Owner of the House
- Roo Borson, Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida
- George Bowering, Changing on the Fly
- Don McKay, Camber
- Charles Simic, Selected Poems: 1963-2003
- Fanny Howe, On the Ground
- Michael Symmons Roberts, Corpus
- Matthew Rohrer, A Green Light
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: August Kleinzahler
- Kamau Brathwaite, Born to Slow Horses
- Michael Hofmann, translation of Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems from the German written by Durs Grünbein
- Michael Palmer, Company of Moths
- Elizabeth Winslow, translation of The War Works Hard by Dunya Mikhail
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Robin Blaser
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Simon Armitage
- Charles Wright, Scar Tissue
- Paul Farley, Tramp in Flames
- Rodney Jones, Salvation Blues
- Frederick Seidel, Ooga-Booga
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Tomas Tranströmer
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Matthew Rohrer
- Robin Blaser, The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser
- Robert Majzels and Erín Moure, translation of Notebook of Roses and Civilization from the French written by Nicole Brossard
- David McFadden, Why Are You So Sad? Selected Poems of David W. McFadden
- John Ashbery, Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems
- Elaine Equi, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems
- Clayton Eshleman, translation of The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition from the Spanish written by Cesar Vallejo
- David Harsent, Selected Poems 1969-2005
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Paul Farley
- C.D. Wright, Rising, Falling, Hovering
- Mick Imlah, The Lost Leader
- Derek Mahon, Life on Earth
- Dean Young, Primitive Mentor
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: James Wood
- Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, The Sun-fish
- John Glenday, Grain
- Louise Gluck, A Village Life
- Susan Wicks, translation of Cold Spring in Winter from the French written by Valérie Rouzeau
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Adrienne Rich
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Glyn Maxwell
- Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Heavenly Questions
- Seamus Heaney, Human Chain
- Khaled Mattawa, translation of Adonis: Selected Poems from the Arabic written by Adonis
- Philip Mosley, translation of The Book of the Snow from the French written by Francois Jacqmin
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Yves Bonnefoy
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Jonathan Welstead, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
- David Harsent, Night
- Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch
- Sean O'Brien, November
- Joanna Trzeciak, translation from Polish of Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Rózewicz
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Seamus Heaney
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Alexander Gagliano, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
- Fady Joudah, translation of The Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems from the Arabic written by Ghassan Zaqtan
- Jennifer Maiden, Liquid Nitrogen
- Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic
- Brenda Shaughnessy, Our Andromeda
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Kyla Kane, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: Pura López Colomé
- Brenda Hillman, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire
- Rachael Boast, Pilgrim's Flower
- Carl Phillips, Silverchest
- Mira Rosenthal, translation of Colonies from the Polish written by Tomasz Rozycki
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Adelia Prado
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Khalil Mair, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: August Kleinzahler
- Michael Longley, The Stairwell
- Eleanor Goodman, translation of Something Crosses My Mind from the Chinese written by Wang Xiaoni
- Marek Kazmierski, translation of Finite Formulae & Theories of Chance from the Polish written by Wioletta Greg
- Spencer Reece, The Road to Emmaus
Lifetime Recognition Award (presented by the Griffin trustees) to Derek Walcott
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Ayo Akinfenwa, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
- Liz Howard, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
- Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, translation of Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments from the Danish written by Ulrikka S. Gernes
- Soraya Peerbaye, Tell: poems for a girlhood
- Norman Dubie, The Quotations of Bone
- Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings
- Don Paterson, 40 Sonnets
- Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Marie Foolchand, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
- Alice Oswald, Falling Awake 
- Jane Mead, World of Made and Unmade
- Donald Nicholson-Smith, translation of In Praise of Defeat from the French written by Abdellatif Laabi
- Denise Riley, Say Something Back
Guest performer at awards ceremony: David White, National Poetry In Voice recitation finalist
- Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World
- Aisha Sasha John, I have to live.
- Donato Mancini, Same Diff
- Susan Howe, Debths
- Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven is All Goodbyes
- Layli Long Soldier, Whereas
- Natalie Shapero, Hard Child
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Hamish Marissen-Clark, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
Guest speaker at awards ceremony: August Kleinzahler, 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize winner
- Don Mee Choi, translation of Autobiography of Death from the Korean written by Kim Hyesoon
- Raymond Antrobus, The Perseverance
- Daniel Borzutzky, Lake Michigan
- Ani Gjika, translation of Negative Space from the Albanian written by Luljeta Lleshanaku
Guest performer at awards ceremony: Catricia Hiebert, National Poetry In Voice recitation champion
- Sarah Riggs, translation of Time from the French written by Etel Adnan
- Abigail Chabitnoy, How to Dress a Fish
- Sharon Olds, Arias
- Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Lima :: Limón
- Canisia Lubrin, The Dyzgraphxst
- Joseph A. Dandurand, The East Side of It All
- Yusuf Saadi, Pluviophile
- Valzhyna Mort, Music for the Dead and Resurrected
- Victoria Chang, Obit
- Srikanth Reddy, Underworld Lit
- Yi Lei (Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi, translators), My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree
- "Griffin Poetry Prize - Rules", Griffin Poetry Prize
- "The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces Prize Award Increase from $100,000 to $200,000 and the 2010 International and Canadian Shortlist". The Griffin Trust. griffinpoetryprize.com. April 6, 2010.
- "P. K. Page, Karen Solie, and Kate Hall vie for a more lucrative Griffin (April 6, 2010) - Quill and Quire". Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- "Griffin Poetry Prize: 2000-2004 Coverage". Griffin Poetry Prize. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
- "griffin anthology". House of Anansi Press. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
- Poetry You Can Touch (June 4, 2019)
- "Bilingual Poetry Recitation Contest Announced - Poetry In Voice".
- Poetry gets cool for school: Scott Griffin launches Poetry in Voice (November 23, 2010) - National Post
- Literary luminaries attend unveiling of statue of 'people's poet' Al Purdy (May 21, 2008) - The Canadian Press
- "Griffin Poetry Prize - About - Initiatives".
- "Anne Carson wins poetry prize", CBC News, 8 June 2001.
- "Heather McHugh (poet) - USA - Poetry International".
- "Christian Bök – Griffin Poetry Prize 2002 – Canadian Winner". The Griffin Trust.
- "Another prize for B.C. poet Robin Blaser, and some advice",Vancouver Sun, 6 June 2008.
- "Robin Blaser and Ko Un Win Griffin Poetry Prizes!", University of California Press blog, 5 June 2008.
- Mark Medley (3 June 2016). "'This is a debut book – holy crap': Liz Howard takes the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize". The Globe and Sun.
- "Jordan Abel wins $65K Griffin Poetry Prize for Injun". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "2017 – Frank Bidart". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "2018 - Ana Blandiana". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- "2019 - Nicole Brossard". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Adina Bresge, "Canisia Lubrin named Canadian winner of $65K Griffin Poetry Prize". CP24, June 23, 2021.
- Griffin Poetry Prize official website
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- Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie website
- Poets performing prose is the real prize Toronto Star
- Griffin Poetry Prize doubles award money The Globe and Mail
- Griffin Poetry Prize turns 10 Toronto Star