The awards ceremony, attended by some 320 invited guests, was held in the Fermenting Cellar in The Distillery Historic District. Scott Griffin, founder of the prize, and trustees Mark Doty, Carolyn Forché, Marek Kazmierski, Michael Ondaatje, Jo Shapcott, Karen Solie and David Young hosted the event where the guests enjoyed readings by Ana Blandiana and her translator Viorica Patea, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry’s 2018 Lifetime Recognition Award recipient, a recitation of Wayde Compton’s ‘Illegalese: Floodgate Dub’, by Hamish Marissen-Clark, a 2018 national winner of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, and a speech by August Kleinzahler, winner of the 2004 International Griffin Poetry Prize.
The judges for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize are Sarah Howe (UK), Ben Lerner (US) and Ian Williams (Canada). These distinguished writers and poets each read 542 books of poetry, received from 33 countries around the globe, including 17 translations. The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry select the judges annually.