‘Ottawa’ Griffin Poetry Prize to be Awarded to Canadian and International Poets in Toronto
TORONTO — One of the richest prizes in poetry will be handed out at a gala event in Toronto tonight.
The Griffin Poetry Prize will award $65,000 each to two winners, one Canadian and one international.
A collection of poems by Toronto author Soraya Peerbaye is among three Canadian titles shortlisted.
Peerbaye made the list of seven overall Griffin finalists for “Tell: poems for a girlhood” (Pedlar Press), which traces the events surrounding the 1997 beating and murder of Vancouver Island teen Reena Virk by a group of high school classmates.
Northern Ontario writer Liz Howard was recognized for her debut “Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent” (McClelland & Stewart).
Rounding out the list of Canadian contenders is “Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments” (Brick Books) by Swedish-born Danish poet Ulrikka S. Gernes and translated by two Canadian collaborators: Danish-born Per Brask and Steinbach, Man.-born, Victoria-based Patrick Friesen.
The finalists on the international short list are:
— “The Quotations of Bone” by Norman Dubie (Copper Canyon Press)
— “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” by Joy Harjo (W. W. Norton & Company)
— “40 Sonnets” by Don Paterson (Faber and Faber)
— “Heaven'” by Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Judges Alice Oswald of the U.K., Tracy K. Smith of the U.S. and Canada’s Adam Sol selected the finalists from 633 books of poetry from 43 countries, including 25 translations.
The finalists will also be awarded $10,000 for their participation in the short-list readings that took place on Wednesday at Toronto’s Koerner Hall.
The Griffin is billed as the world’s largest prize for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.