Thursday, April 8, 2010

Griffin Poetry Prize

Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, announced on Wednesday that the prize money for this year's distinguished literary award will double to $200 000, in honour of its 10th anniversary.  The respective Canadian and international winners will each receive $75 000, while the remaining two Canadian and three international runners-up will receive cheques in the amounts of $10 000.   Scott Griffin stated "The increased amount of the prize shared among the seven shortlisted poets underlines the importance of the poetry readings, and recognizes all seven poets' books."  (

I am a huge supporter of Canadian fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and I think this is phenomenal.  Griffin, along with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, Robert Hass, and David Young, founded the prize in April 2000.  

This year's nominees include:

The Certainty Dream
by Kate Hall

Descartes asks, How can I know that I am not now dreaming? This collection of poems poses similar questions through poetry, but without the trappings of traditional philosophy. As the dream world and the waking world blur, the body and the dimensions it inhabits become a series of overlapping circles, all acting as containers for both knowledge and uncertainty.

This is a Canadian entrant.

by Karen Solie

Another Canadian entrant, Pigeon is a tough, deep look into our Canadian society. 

Coal and Roses
by P.K. Page

(In memorium:  A Companion to the Order of Canada, P.K. Page passed away earlier this year at the age of 93.)

The third Canadian entry, this work contains a series of 21 glosas, borrowing from the works of Ted Hughes, John Ashbery, and Thom Gunn, amongst others. A masterful display of linguistic dexterity, Page assimilates the pervasive complexity and the abundance of tradition that co-exists in the world of literature.

A Village Life
by Louise Gluck

This is the first international entrant, from the United States.

This is Lois Gluck's eleventh collection of poems, centering around the topography of a village.

by John Glenday

Scottish poet's third collection of poems.

 Cold Spring in Winter
by Valerie Rouzeau

A collection of poems by this poet from France, translated by Susan Wicks of the U.K., lamenting the death of her father.

The Sun-Fish
by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain

A poet from Ireland who challenges the reader to accept the primacy of imaginary life.


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