Roo Borson’s Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida and Charles Simic’s Selected Poems: 1963-2003 Win the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize

TORONTO – June 2, 2005Roo Borson’s Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida and Charles Simic’s Selected Poems 1963-2003 are the Canadian and International winners of the fifth annual Griffin Poetry Prize. The C$100,000 Griffin Poetry Prize, the richest poetry prize in the world for a single volume of poetry, is divided between the two winners. The prize is for first edition books of poetry published in 2004.

International Winner Canadian Winner
book-simic
Selected Poems: 1963-2003
Charles Simic
Faber and Faber
book-borson
Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida
Roo Borson
McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

The awards event was hosted by Scott Griffin, founder of the prize, August Kleinzahler (International winner 2004) was the Emcee, with judges Simon Armitage and Erin Moure announcing the Canadian and International winners for 2005.

Scott Griffin proudly presents the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize winners, Charles Simic and Roo Borson
Scott Griffin proudly presents the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize winners, Charles Simic and Roo Borson

Among the more than 300 guests celebrating the awards was the Guest of Honour, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada. In addition, poets, publishers and other literary luminaries attended the celebration which took place at The Stone Distillery, Toronto. The two winners will be invited to read at this year’s Dublin Writers Festival on June 16th.

The judges for 2005 are the distinguished poets Simon Armitage (U.K.), Erin Moure (Canada) and Tomaz Salamun (Slovenia) who, between them, not only read 433 books of poetry from 12 countries, but selected poems from the shortlist to compile The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the 2005 Shortlist, edited by Moure and published by the House of Anansi Press. Royalties generated from the anthologies, published annually, are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day. Copies of submitted poetry books are again being donated to Corrections Canada.

All shortlisted poets read excerpts from their books at a sold-out event at the MacMillan Theatre on June 1st, attended by more than 800 devotees. The Canadian 2005 Shortlist includes Roo Borson’s Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida, George Bowering’s Changing on the Fly and Don McKay’s Camber. The International 2005 shortlisted books are Fanny Howe’s On the Ground, Michael Symmons Roberts’ Corpus, Matthew Rohrer’s A Green Light and Charles Simic’s Selected Poems: 1963-2003.

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For further information, contact:

Press and Publicity

Jane Wilson, Publicity Director
E-mail: press@griffinpoetryprize.com

General Inquiries

Ruth Smith, Manager
E-mail: info@griffinpoetryprize.com

Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations

Download press release | Download photos

Purchase 2005 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online

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Photo credit: Event photo by Tom Sandler

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