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Griffin Prize Time
Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014
The 2014 International and Canadian shortlists for the Griffin Poetry Prize have been announced. They include American Brenda Hillman (wife of Griffin Trust Trustee Robert Hass), American Carl Phillips (Griffin Poetry Prize judge 2010), and sometime-Canadian Anne Carson (shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2001, judge alongside Phillips in 2010). Judges Robert Bringhurst (Canada), Jo Shapcott (UK) and C.D. Wright (USA) each somehow read 539 books of poetry, from 40 countries, including 24 translations, between the annual deadline for submission to the prize (31 December) and the 8 April press release: approximately five and a half books per day. Winning poets in each category will receive CA$65,000, plus CA$10,000 will be awarded to each shortlisted poet, conditional upon said poet attending and participating in the annual readings event, which will take place in Toronto on Wednesday 4 June.
According to the Griffin website, prize founder and entrepreneur Scott Griffin, owner of the House of Anansi Press – which has over fourteen years produced eight shortlisted books and three winners – no longer takes part in the selection of judges: ‘To preserve the integrity of the Griffin Poetry Prize.’ Griffin Trust Trustee Robin Robertson may not own Jonathan Cape Ltd, but he is poetry editor and has published books by both Bringhurst and Carson (including the UK edition of her shortlisted book, Red Doc>).
We await further connections between the trust, the judges, the poets, and their publishers with anxious optimism.