Last night in Toronto, the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prizes were given for the collections Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (Yale University Press), written by Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan and translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah, and What's the Score (Mansfield Press) by Canadian poet David W. McFadden. Each winner received $65,000
The finalists, who each gave a reading along with the winners, were Jennifer Maiden for Liquid Nitrogen (Giramondo Publishing), James Pollock for Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press) Alan Shapiro for Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Brenda Shaughnessy forOur Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press), and Ian Williams for Personals (Freehand Books).
Founded in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize is given annually for books of poetry written in or translated into English and published anywhere in the world. One prize is given to a living Canadian poet or translator; a second is given to a living poet or translator from any country.
This year’s judges were Suzanne Buffam of Canada, Mark Doty of the United States, and Wang Ping of China. Each read 509 books of poetry, which were submitted from forty countries, and included fifteen translations. The trustees of the Toronto–based Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, which administers the prize select the judges annually.
Scott Griffin and trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, and David Young hosted the event. Trustee Carolyn Forché presented each shortlisted poet with a leather-bound edition of their book and a $10,000 honorarium.
For the 2014 prizes, publishers may submit books published between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Only publishers can submit books for consideration; self-published titles are not eligible. The deadline for submissions is December 31. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.