Griffin Poetry Prize to hand out Canadian, international awards at Toronto gala – CP

by ahnationtalk on June 7, 2018196 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
Jun 7, 2018 

TORONTO _ Literary luminaries will gather in Toronto tonight as two of the best wordsmiths from home and abroad receive the lucrative Griffin Poetry Prize.

One Canadian and one international winner will each take home a $65,000 prize at the awards gala.

Scholar Billy-Ray Belcourt of the Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta is among the homegrown contenders for “This Wound is a World,” published by Frontenac House.

Montreal-born dancer and choreographer Aisha Sasha John is also in the running for “I have to live,” published by McClelland & Stewart.

Rounding out the Canadian short list is interdisciplinary artist and critic Donato Mancini’s “Same Diff,” published by Talonbooks.

The international short list includes:

– California-based writer and educator Tongo Eisen-Martin for “Heaven Is All Goodbyes” (City Lights)

– American poet and literary critic Susan Howe for “Debths” (New Directions)

– Poet Layli Long Soldier of the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota for “Whereas” (Graywolf Press)

– Boston poetry professor and writer Natalie Shapero for “Hard Child” (Copper Canyon Press)

The three-member judging panel read 542 books of poetry from 33 countries, including 17 translations.

The Griffin Trust was founded in 2000 by chairman Scott Griffin, along with trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young.

The prize is billed as the world’s largest for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.

In addition to the grand prize winners, each finalist also receives $10,000 for participating in Wednesday evening’s readings at Toronto’s Koerner Hall.

Romanian writer and political figure Ana Blandiana, recipient of the Lifetime Recognition Award, is slated to read at Thursday’s dinner reception.


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