2012 Coverage

See also 2013 press coverage.

The following are highlights of the latest media coverage of the Griffin Poetry Prize and its principals.

Note: Some of the links included here require publication subscriptions or registrations.

November 7, 2012
Griffin Prize judges announced
by Nancy J. White

The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry has announced the judges for this year’s Griffin Prize, the world’s largest for a first-edition single collection of poetry in English. The judges are Breyten Breytenbach from South Africa, Suzanne Buffam of Canada, and Mark Doty from the U.S.

June 12, 2012
Seamus Heaney discusses his lifetime achievement award
on CBC As It Happens

In accepting the Lifetime Recognition Award by the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Seamus Heaney described himself as a man who “dabbles in verses.” But fans of the Irish poet know he’s much more than that.

June 8, 2012
Ken Babstock doesn’t want his son to be a poet

Poet Ken Babstock says he hopes his young son doesn’t follow in his footsteps for a career. Babstock is this year’s Canadian winner of the Griffin poetry prize, worth $65,000, for his poetry collection “Methodist Hatchet.”

June 8, 2012
Anansi poet Ken Babstock wins Griffin
by Stuart Woods

An emotional Ken Babstock won the Canadian portion of this year’s Griffin Poetry Prize at a gala in Toronto Thursday night.

June 7, 2012
Seamus Heaney graciously accepts Griffin’s lifetime recognition award
by David Berry

Introducing Heaney as “our greatest living poet,” Robin Robertson praised him as “craftsman” who’s “never fallen out of love with words.” Heaney, the Irish-born poet who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, took this honour as though it was one of his first, passing himself off as a “man who dabbles in verse” ­ notably such collections as 1979’s Field Work and 1991’s Seeing Things ­ albeit one who is now among the most decorated poets alive (we’ll leave the subjective designations to the individual).

June 7, 2012
Nobel winner Seamus Heaney praises authenticity of Griffin Poetry Prize
by Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

As he received the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry’s 2012 Lifetime Recognition Award Wednesday evening, Nobel Prize-winning literary legend Seamus Heaney noticed a kind of energy, authenticity and style that he said has been absent in other places.

“It felt completely like it belonged to the place where it was happening and at the same time it wasn’t a parochial event, it reached out to all over the world, really – Poland and Britain and the United States – so it was great, and there was a warm audience,” the illustrious Irish poet, essayist, translator and playwright said Thursday.

June 6, 2012
Poet Seamus Heaney wins Griffin prize for lifetime achievement
by Sandra Martin

Poetry lovers will have to wait until Thursday night to learn who has won the $130,000 international and Canadian Griffin poetry prizes. At the sold out poetry readings at Koerner Hall in Toronto Wednesday night for the four international and three Canadian poets, the evening belonged to Seamus Heaney the winner of the 2012 Lifetime Recognition Award.

June 5, 2012
It’s Griffin Poetry Prize time of year again
Serious cash, glamour, mystery–and great poetry–make this prize one of the world’s richest
by Brian Bethune

As the literary calendar turns, it’s time again for the glittering Griffin Poetry Prize. Founded in 2000 by businessman and serious poetry lover Scott Griffin to celebrate excellence in poetry, the prize is for first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English anywhere in the world. The two winners­one Canadian and one international­both take home $65,000 plus the $10,000 the prize provides each shortlisted author, making the Griffin one of the world’s richest literary awards of any kind.

June 4-6, 2012
The Griffin Poetry Prize Questionnaires
by Mark Medley

As with past years, The Afterword has asked the finalists on the Canadian and International shortlists to answer a few questions about their craft … and the answers just might surprise you.

June 3, 2012
Vancouver’s turn to shine with our own Griffin party
by Peter Darbyshire

It’s official – Vancouver is a literary capital. And we owe it all to a high-profile party about to happen here … Now Vancouver is set to host its most prestigious event yet, as Cranbury brings us the Griffin Vancouver ceremony, the first celebration of the international Griffin Poetry Prize to be held outside of Toronto.

June 2, 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize contender redefined Polish poetry
by Greg Quill

Raised in Poland and schooled in U.S., linguist, poet, translator and college professor Joanna Trzeciak didn’t care much for the work of the great Polish poet Tadeusz Rózewicz, a beloved national institution, while she was growing up.

“My father was always interested in Rózewicz’s poetry, but it held little interest for me when I was in my teenage years in Poland,” said the Griffin Poetry Prize finalist, translator of the comprehensive Rózewicz collection, Sobbing Superpower, in a recent phone interview from her home in Cleveland, Ohio.

“He was my father’s poet. He didn’t speak to me till later on, in my 20s.”

June 1, 2012
Phil Hall: A poet’s progress
by Mark Medley

It is a quiet life, of books and writing, though Hall is increasingly being drawn into the spotlight. Over the last eight months, he has rattled off a string of award nominations that rival the success of Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt last fall, when they were nominated for Canada’s three major literary awards. Hall, described by his publisher Jay MillAr as “one of the most unique voices in Canadian writing, bar none,” has accomplished the poetry equivalent: His latest book, Killdeer, won the Governor General’s Literary Award last October, accomplishing a goal held since he was 15 years old, and is currently shortlisted for both the Griffin Poetry Prize, which will be awarded next Thursday, and the Trillium Book Award, the winner of which will be announced later in June.

April 27, 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize 2012: The international finalists

CBC Books has already looked at the three Canadian books in the running for the lucrative prize. This week, we’re surveying the four international collections.

April 20, 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize 2012: The Canadian finalists

… we look at the three Canadian books in the running for the lucrative prize. Next week we’ll put the spotlight on the four books on the international shortlist.

April 12, 2012
Shortlist Announced for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize
by Andrew Balfour

Scott Griffin, founder of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry and David Young, trustee, announced the International and Canadian shortlist for this year’s prize. Judges Heather McHugh (USA), David O’Meara (Canada) and Fiona Sampson (England) each read 481 books of poetry, from 37 countries, including 19 translations.

April 10, 2012
Strong international short list proof of Griffin Prize’s growing clout, founder says

Growing recognition of Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize as a major global award has led to one of the strongest international shortlists in the prize’s history, founder Scott Griffin said Tuesday.

April 10, 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize reveals shortlists
by Mark Medley

In its first year, the Griffin Poetry Prize attracted 310 submissions from around the world.

That jury had it easy.

A total of 481 books were submitted for this year’s prize, the shortlists of which were announced on Tuesday morning in Toronto.

While short of the 2008 mark, when a record-breaking 509 books were considered, Scott Griffin, founder of the prize that bears his name, said submissions were up 10% over last year. In total, the jury considered books from 37 countries around the world, including 19 works in translation.

March 22, 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist Announced! A Q&A with local Griffin Prize judge (and poet) David O’Meara
by Rob McLennan

The author of three poetry collections and a play, Pembroke native David O’Meara is has added a new accolade to his bio: Griffin Poetry Prize judge. With two other judges — one from the United States and one from England — O’Meara has examined close to 500 books of poetry. He’s also set to teach at the Banff Centre for the Arts this fall. In February, the writer took a break from scheduling Plan 99 readings at The Manx — where he also tends bar — and organizing the new poetry festival, VERSeFest, to chat with rob mclennan about the writing life.

See also 2011 press coverage.

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