The C$80,000 Griffin Poetry Prize International and Canadian 2004 Shortlist Announced

Poetry Without Borders

TORONTO, March 31st, 2004 – The Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist for 2004 was announced today by Scott Griffin, Chairman of The Griffin Trust. The C$80,000 Griffin Poetry Prize is the most lucrative prize to accept books of poetry from any country in the world – “Poetry Without Borders”. The prize is awarded annually for the two best books of poetry (including translations) published in English the previous year.

A record-breaking 423 eligible books from 15 different countries, translated from 17 different languages, were submitted for 2004, nearly 100 more than the previous year. The seven finalists – three Canadian and four International – will be invited to read in Toronto at the MacMillan Theatre on June 2nd. The winners, who each receive C$40,000, will be announced on June 3rd at the fourth Griffin Poetry Prize awards event.

Canadian Shortlist

Now You Care • Di Brandt
Coach House Books

go-go dancing for Elvis • Leslie Greentree
Frontenac House Ltd.

Loop • Anne Simpson
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

International Shortlist

Notes from the Divided Country • Suji Kwock Kim
Louisiana State University Press

The Ha-Ha • David Kirby
Louisiana State University Press

The Strange Hours Travelers Keep • August Kleinzahler
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The Owner of the House • Louis Simpson
BOA Editions, Ltd.

The judges for 2004 are the distinguished poets Billy Collins (U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-2003), Bill Manhire (New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate) and Governor-General Award-winner Phyllis Webb (Canada).

Webb is the editor of the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, a selection of poems from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press Inc. Royalties from the Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

Benefactor Scott Griffin launched The Griffin Poetry Prize in September, 2000 along with the literary luminaries, Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young.

The Toronto-based Griffin Trust was created to serve and encourage excellence in poetry written in English anywhere in the world. Eligible collections of poetry, including translations, must be submitted by publishers in the calendar year of their publication.

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Note: The publishers mentioned in our release are those who submitted the books.

Note to booksellers: Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist bookmarks, posters and stickers are supplied free of charge by The Griffin Trust. Click here to access our order form. Winner stickers will be available after June 3rd.

Please direct other inquiries as follows:

Press and Publicity

Prudence Emery, Publicity Director

General Inquiries

Ruth Smith, Manager

Submitting Publishers’ Web sites:

BOA Editions, Ltd

Coach House Books

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Frontenac House Ltd.

Louisiana State University Press

McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations

Download press release | Download photos

Purchase 2004 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online

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