Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire Brenda Hillman and Red Doc> Anne Carson Win the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize

TORONTO – Thursday, June 5, 2014Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire by Brenda Hillman and Red Doc> by Anne Carson are the International and Canadian winners of the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize. They each received C$65,000 in prize money.

The Griffin Poetry Prize was founded in 2000 to serve and encourage excellence in poetry. The prize is for first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English and submitted from anywhere in the world.

International Winner Canadian Winner

Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, by Brenda Hillman

Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire
Brenda Hillman
Wesleyan University Press

Red Doc, by Anne Carson

Red Doc>
Anne Carson
Jonathan Cape, McClelland & Stewart

The awards ceremony, attended by some 350 invited guests, was held in the Fermenting Cellar in The Distillery Historic District. Scott Griffin, founder of the prize, and trustees Carolyn Forché, Robert Hass, Robin Robertson, Karen Solie, Colm Tóibín and David Young hosted the event where the guests enjoyed speeches and readings by Khalil Mair, 2013 Bilingual Stream First Prize Champion, of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, August Kleinzahler, winner of the 2004 International Griffin Poetry Prize, Adélia Prado and Ellen Watson.

Scott Griffin presents the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize winners: Brenda Hillman (International) and Anne Carson (Canadian).
Scott Griffin presents the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize winners: Brenda Hillman (International) and Anne Carson (Canadian).

The Judges for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize are Robert Bringhurst (Canada), Jo Shapcott (UK) and C.D. Wright (USA). These distinguished writers and poets each read 542 books of poetry, received from 40 countries around the globe, including 24 translations. The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry select the judges annually.

The 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist features collections by four international and three Canadian poets:

  • Rachael Boast’s Pilgrim’s Flower, published by Picador
  • Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, published by Wesleyan University Press
  • Carl Phillips’ Silverchest, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Mira Rosenthal’s translation from the Polish of Colonies by Tomasz Rózycki, published by Zephyr Press
  • Anne Carson’s Red Doc>, published by Jonathan Cape and McClelland & Stewart
  • Sue Goyette’s Ocean, published by Gaspereau Press
  • Anne Michaels’ Correspondences, published by McClelland & Stewart

On June 4 the poets read excerpts from their books at the Shortlist Readings for 1,000 people in Toronto in Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Trustee Carolyn Forché presented each poet with a leather-bound edition of their book and a $10,000 honorarium for their participation in the Readings.

During the evening, renowned Brazilian poet and writer Adélia Prado was honoured with The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Trustee Robert Hass paid tribute to Adélia Prado and presented her with the award. The surprise announcement was met with enthusiasm and much applause from the audience.

The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the 2014 Shortlist, edited by Robert Bringhurst and published by House of Anansi Press, is now available at most retail bookstores and online. Royalties generated from the anthologies, published annually, are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day that was created to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard in their communities.

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For further information, contact:

June Dickenson
General Inquiries
Ruth Smith
Griffin Trust Manager

Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations
Download press release | Download photos

Purchase 2014 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online
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Photo credit: Event photo by Tom Sandler

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