Rules

  1. The Griffin Poetry Prize
    1. The Griffin Poetry Prize, valued at $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.

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  2. The Trustees
    1. The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence in Poetry are:
      Mark Doty
      Carolyn Forché
      Scott Griffin
      Marek Kazmierski
      Michael Ondaatje
      Jo Shapcott
      Karen Solie
      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, Scott Griffin no longer takes part in the selection of judges, and is also prohibited from any involvement in the judging process. With these safeguards in place, House of Anansi titles are deemed to be eligible for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

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  3. The Judges
    1. The trustees will select qualified judges of stature annually.
    2. Judges may not be on salary at a publishing house that issues contemporary poetry.
    3. The judges will compile a shortlist of up to seven outstanding books of poetry, four international, and three Canadian.
    4. From the shortlist, the judges will select the final winners in the international and Canadian categories. Shortlisted 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.

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  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 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. Selected and Collected volumes are only eligible as translations into English.
    9. New and Selected volumes are only eligible as translations into English.
    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.

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  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;
      • ii. To sticker copies of the shortlisted and winning books with the Griffin Poetry Prize seals (to be provided in hard copy and digital format);
      • 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(i).
    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.

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  6. Submission Procedures and Deadlines
    1. Publishers may submit any number of titles.
    2. Works published between January 1 and June 30 are to be submitted and postmarked no later than June 30. Submissions must be received by July 7.
    3. Works published between July 1 and December 31 are to be submitted and postmarked no later than December 31. Submissions must be received by January 7.
    4. Submissions postmarked after June 30 (for works published between January 1 and June 30), and December 31 (for works published between July 1 and December 31) of each year will not be eligible.
    5. The Griffin Poetry Prize may, at any time, call in a book that 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.
    6. The Griffin Poetry Prize will acknowledge receipt of submissions to publishers only.
    7. No books will be returned.
    8. Four copies of each book must be submitted to:

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

    9. Each submission must include an Entry Form, along with any available press material, a current biography of the author and/or translator, and a high-resolution digital photograph of the author and/or translator. Digital photographs should be of 300 dpi or, preferably, greater, and in a TIFF or JPEG format. Digital photographs can be emailed to info@griffinpoetryprize.com.

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  7. Finalists
    1. A shortlist of finalists will be announced annually in March or April. Publicity promoting the shortlisted books and poets 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 evening.
    3. C$10,000 will be awarded to each shortlisted poet, conditional upon the shortlisted poet attending and participating in the readings event.
    4. The readings and awards evening will take place in Canada over two days in May or June, annually.
    5. The Griffin Poetry Prize will bear the cost of travel and overnight accommodation for authors who live outside Toronto, Canada.
    6. The judges will select the shortlist, and the winners, in private deliberations. Publishers will receive no advance notice of the shortlisted nominees or the winners.

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  8. Further Information

    All enquiries should be directed to:

    Mrs. Ruth Smith
    Executive Director
    The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry
    363 Parkridge Crescent
    Oakville, Ontario L6M 1A8
    Canada
    Telephone: (905) 618 0420
    E-mail: info@griffinpoetryprize.com

  9. Download the Rules

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

     

    Click here for the entry form.

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