Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry  

Judges for the
2013 Griffin Poetry Prize Announced

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TORONTO – November 7, 2012 – The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry are pleased to announce that Breyten Breytenbach (South Africa), Suzanne Buffam (Canada), and Mark Doty (U@) are the judges for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Click here for additional information on 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize judge Breyten Breytenbach.
Breyten Breytenbach

Breyten Breytenbach celebrated poet, painter, novelist, playwright, essayist and human rights activist, was born in South Africa in 1939. He established the anti-apartheid resistance group 'Okhela' and from 1975–1982 he was a political prisoner, serving two terms of solitary confinement in South African prisons. The recipient of numerous awards, including the APB Prize, the CAN Award, the Alan Paton Award for Literature, the Rapport Prize, the Hertzog Prize, the Reina Prinsen-Geerling Prize, the Van der Hoogt Prize, the Jan Campert Award and the Jacobus van Looy Prize for Literature and Art; he has written and published a vast number of articles, essays, academic dissertations, doctoral theses and books in many languages, ranging from descriptions and analyses of the author and painter as activist, public figure, exile, thinker, and nomad. He has participated in many interviews and recordings, in several languages, including the films Breyten Breytenbach, Personenbeschreibung, by Georg-Stephan Troller for ZDF Television in Germany; Breyten Breytenbach, the Artist, by Hennie Serfontein for SABC TV3 in South Africa; A Season In Paradise, by Richard Dindo (in French, German and English versions) for Arte Television, shown at film festivals and in theatres in Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland and South Africa; Vision from the Edge, by Mary Stephen, shown at film festivals in Holland, France, Australia and Canada; and Sur les feuilles de route de Breyten Breytenbach, by Bernard Monsigny for the 'Retrospective Provisoire 1965–1986' exhibition in Ville de Montreuil. His paintings portray surreal human and animal figures, many of which are shown in captivity. He has had solo exhibitions of his artwork in numerous cities around the world including, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris, Brussels and Edinburgh. His most recent poetry collection is The Principle of Dust, which was published in Cape Town in 2011. (Click here for additional bio details.)

Click here for additional information on 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize judge Suzanne Buffam.
Suzanne Buffam

Suzanne Buffam was born in Montreal, raised in Vancouver, and currently lives in Chicago. Her first collection of poetry, Past Imperfect, was published by House of Anansi Press in 2005 and named a 2005 Book of the Year by Toronto's The Globe and Mail newspaper. Past Imperfect won the League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Award in 2006. Her second collection of poetry, The Irrationalist, was published in 2010 by House of Anansi Press in Canada and Canarium Books in the USA, and was named a finalist for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her work appears in several international anthologies and publications, including Poetry, Jubilat, A Public Space, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Books in Canada, Prairie Schooner, and Breathing Fire: Canada's New Poets; and has been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Slovenian. She won the 1998 CBC Literary Award for Poetry and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received an MA in English Literature from Concordia University in Montreal and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. (Click here for additional bio details.)

Click here for additional information on 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize judge Mark Doty.
Mark Doty

Mark Doty is the author of eight books of poems, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008; School of the Arts, Source, and My Alexandria. He has also published five volumes of nonfiction prose, among them Dog Years, which was named a New York Times bestseller in 2007; Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, Heaven's Coast, and Firebird. The Art of Description, a handbook for writers, appeared in 2011. The only American poet to have won the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K., his work has been honoured by the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. He is at work on What is the Grass, a meditation on the life and poetry of Walt Whitman, and Deep Lane, a new collection of his own poems, both forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Company. He teaches at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and lives in New York City. (Click here for additional bio details.)

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All three judges understand the importance of the Griffin Poetry Prize’s international reach and may consequently call in books of English language poetry from around the world.

The shortlisted books (four International and three Canadian) will be announced on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at a press conference in Toronto, Canada.

The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry is pleased to announce that the Shortlist Readings will take place in the magnificent Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

The winners of the Griffin Poetry Prize will be named at an awards ceremony to be held in Toronto on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Note to Publishers:
The submissions deadline for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize, for books published between January 1 and December 31, 2012, is Monday, December 31, 2012. Submitted books must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2012.

If you have any questions regarding the rules, or would like to download an entry form, please visit our Web site, at:


For further information, please contact:

Submissions and General Inquiries
Ruth Smith, Manager

June Dickenson

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