1. The Griffin Poetry Prize
    1. The Griffin Poetry Prize, valued at C$130,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000.
    2. In each category, the prize is for the best collection of poetry in English published during the preceding year. One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada.
    3. Translations are assessed for their quality as poetry in English; the focus is on the achievement of the translator.
    4. Should a prize-winning book be a translation from a living poet, the prize is awarded 60% to the translator and 40% to the original poet. If the original poet is dead, but his/her work is within copyright, 40% of the prize is given to the original poet’s estate. Otherwise, the disbursement of that portion of the prize is left to the discretion of the judges.

    Back to top

  2. The Trustees
    1. The Trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry are:

      Mark Doty
      Carolyn Forché
      Scott Griffin
      Michael Ondaatje
      Robin Robertson
      Karen Solie
      Colm Tóibín
      David Young

    2. Trustees may not participate in judging in any way.
    3. No Trustee may participate in the selection of judges if he or she has a financial interest in a publishing house that issues contemporary poetry. *

    * In May 2002, Scott Griffin purchased House of Anansi Press, a Canadian literary publisher. To preserve the integrity of the Griffin Poetry Prize, he no longer takes part in the selection of judges. And like other Trustees, he is prohibited from involvement in the judging process. (With these safeguards in place, House of Anansi titles are deemed to be eligible for the Griffin Poetry Prize.)

    Back to top

  3. The Judges
    1. Qualified judges of stature will be selected annually by the Trustees.
    2. Judges may not be on salary at a publishing house that issues contemporary poetry.
    3. The judges will compile a short list of up to seven outstanding books of poetry, four International and three Canadian.
    4. From the short list, the judges will select the final winners in the International and Canadian categories. Short-listed Canadian books are eligible for both prizes.
    5. The judges have absolute discretion in interpreting the rules, and their decision is final.
    6. All decisions of the judges will be unanimous.
    7. Click here for the current panel of judges.

    Back to top

  4. Eligibility Criteria
    1. Submissions must come from publishers, who may enter an unlimited number of titles.
    2. To be eligible for the International prize, a book of poetry must be a first-edition collection (i.e. not previously published in any country), written in English, or translated into English, by a poet/translator from any part of the world, including Canada.
    3. To be eligible for the Canadian prize, a book of poetry must be a first-edition collection (i.e. not previously published in any country), written in English or translated into English by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada.
    4. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award.
    5. Winning the Griffin Poetry Prize (or any other prize) in previous years does not render a poet ineligible for the current year’s prize.
    6. Only books of poetry written by authors or translators alive at the date of publication will be considered.
    7. Books must be the work of one poet.
    8. Volumes of Selected and/or Collected poetry, previously published, will only be eligible as translations.
    9. Combinations of Selected and/or Collected poetry, combined with previously unpublished poetry, will only be eligible as translations.
    10. A book of translations by two translators is eligible if they have collaborated throughout. A collection of translations by various hands is not eligible.
    11. A book by a Trustee or current judge is not eligible.
    12. No self-published book is eligible.
    13. Books only available in digital form are not eligible.
    14. The judges’ decision as to a book’s eligibility is binding.
    15. All books must carry an ISBN.
    16. A book is defined as having at least forty-eight pages.

    Back to top

  5. Conditions of the Prize
    1. A book which is entered for the Griffin Poetry Prize will not qualify for the award unless the publisher agrees:
      • To prepare and encourage its nominated poet(s) to participate in all reasonable publicity associated with the Griffin Poetry Prize;
      • To sticker copies of the winning book with the Griffin Poetry Prize seals (to be provided by the Griffin Poetry Prize);
      • To secure the prior written approval of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry with respect to art work, when including facsimiles of the Griffin Poetry Prize seal on all reprints of the winning book(s); and
      • To comply with Rule 6(g).
    2. Poets and publishers agree to permit The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry to include selections from shortlisted works in a Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology and/or the Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie Anthology. Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is a national, bilingual, high school poetry recitation competition founded by the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry in 2010. A one-time permission fee of C$200 will be paid to each originating publisher of the shortlisted books. Proceeds will be donated to a literary cause.

    Back to top

  6. Submission Procedures and Deadlines
    1. Publishers may submit any number of titles, each published (or scheduled for publication) before the annual deadline of December 31st, for delivery by no later than January 10th.
    2. Submissions postmarked after December 31 of each year will not be eligible.
    3. The Griffin Poetry Prize may at any time call in a book which has not been submitted. In that event, the publisher will be required to forward an entry form along with four copies of the book to the Griffin Poetry Prize, and to comply with all other rules and regulations.
    4. The Griffin Poetry Prize will acknowledge receipt of submissions.
    5. No books will be returned to publishers.
    6. Four copies of each book must be submitted to:

      Mrs. Ruth Smith
      The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry
      363 Parkridge Crescent
      Oakville, Ontario L6M 1A8, Canada

    7. Each submission must include an Entry Form along with any available press material, including a current biography and photograph of the author and/or translator. (Preferred photograph formats are 8.5×11 black and white print or high resolution [300 dpi or greater] TIFF or JPEG file.)

    Back to top

  7. Finalists
    1. A short list of finalists will be announced in March or April of each year. National and international publicity, promoting the short-listed poets and the Griffin Poetry Prize, will begin at that announcement and continue until after the winners are declared.
    2. It is expected that shortlisted poets will participate in reading their poetry at a public event and will attend the awards ceremony.
    3. $10,000 will be awarded to each shortlisted poet, conditional upon the shortlisted poet attending and participating in the annual Readings event.
    4. In the event that a shortlisted book is a translation, the $10,000 will be equally shared between the translator(s) and the living poet, conditional upon (c) above.
    5. The readings and the awards evening of the Griffin Poetry Prize will take place in Canada over two days in May or June of each year.
    6. The Griffin Poetry Prize will bear the cost of travel and overnight accommodation for authors who live outside Toronto, Canada.
    7. The judges will select the short list and the winners in private deliberations. Publishers will receive no advance notice of the short-listed nominees or the winners.

    Back to top

  8. Further Information

    All enquiries should be directed to:

    Mrs. Ruth Smith
    The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry
    363 Parkridge Crescent
    Oakville, Ontario L6M 1A8
    Telephone: (905) 618 0420

  9. Download the Rules

    Click below to download
    griffin-prize-rules.pdf (~170K)


    Click here for the entry form.

    Back to top

24 thoughts on “Rules

  1. Please take a look on this page at section 4, Eligibility Criteria. We appreciate your interest in the Griffin Poetry Prize.

  2. Per 4a of the rules, we require that submissions come from publishers, not authors. Publishers can send unlimited numbers of entries. Thank you for inquiring.

  3. Hi, I would first like to ask if a published poet may enter his or her poetry into the Griffin Poetry Prize, if his poetry has already been entered into an unrelated competition?
    Also, what is the policy regarding self-published artists?
    Thankyou for your time.

  4. Publishers can submit their poets’ works to the Griffin Poetry Prize regardless of whether those works have been submitted to other prizes or competitions.

    If you scroll back up this page to point #4 l under Eligibility Criteria, you’ll see that “No self-published book is eligible.”

    Thanks for your questions.

  5. We require publishers to provide four copies of each submitted work and a photograph of each poet and/or translator. Thanks for your inquiry.

  6. The submission deadline is December 31, 2013 for books published in the year 2013, which then qualify for consideration for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize, which is awarded in the spring of 2014.

  7. What about a bilingual poet who translates his own poetry from Dutch into English, will he be eligible to enter the 2015 competition if the book has been published in the original language in 2013, the English translation in 2014?

  8. May I ask. Can a publisher submit an ebook ?
    Second Question ? Define self publishing please ?
    Example. I own a publishing Business and I write poetry for that that business.
    Can I submit a book for judging as both Publisher and Poet ?

  9. 1. The Griffin Trust asks for publisher submissions to consist of four printed copies of each entry. Ebook only submissions are not currently accepted.
    2. A self-published work is one for which the author has paid for and managed all aspects of producing the work, from the creative to the work’s editing, physical and/or digital production, marketing and promotion, and distribution.

    Thank you for your questions.

  10. Hello,

    I am a poet from Pakistan.The poems written by me have never been published.

    Can i apply?

    Thank you

  11. You’ve come to the perfect page to get your questions answered. Just scroll up to section 4, Eligibility Criteria for all the information you need. Thank you for your interest in the Griffin Poetry Prize and best wishes with your work.

  12. Hello,
    I am a Author and a Poet in Sri Lanka, I write in English and I have published a poetry book by a Sri Lankan publisher. My publisher wanted me to check out whether he could send my and some other English poetry books to this Prize. Can we apply?

    Thank you,

  13. If your and your publisher’s other works meet the eligibility requirements as detailed here, please do send in your entries, following the submission procedures also detailed here. Best wishes!

  14. I am a writer from Sri Lanka and my publisher also from Sri Lanka wants to know whether he could send poetry books for this competition. Please reply soon. I want to know whether we are eligible because we are from Sri Lanka though the works are in english.

  15. On this page, you will find all the information you need to answer your questions and determine your work’s eligibility. For example, take a look at the Eligibility section, 4b, above: “To be eligible for the International prize, a book of poetry must be a first-edition collection (i.e. not previously published in any country), written in English, or translated into English, by a poet/translator from any part of the world, including Canada.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>