The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2008 Canadian and International Shortlist

An Unprecedented 509 Eligible Books Submitted

TORONTO – April 8, 2008 – Scott Griffin, founder of The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry and David Young, trustee, today announced the Canadian and International shortlist for this year’s prize. The C$100,000 Griffin Poetry Prize is one of the most lucrative poetry prizes in the world, exemplifying the international spirit of the form. The prize is awarded annually for the two best books of poetry, including translations, published in English in the previous year.

Judges George Bowering, James Lasdun and Pura López Colomé read 509 books of poetry, including 19 translations, received from 31 countries around the globe. The seven finalists – three Canadian and four International – will be invited to read in Toronto at the MacMillan Theatre on Tuesday, June 3, 2008. The winners, who each receive C$50,000, will be announced on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at the eighth annual Griffin Poetry Prize Awards Evening.

The judges for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize are the distinguished writers and poets George Bowering (Canada), James Lasdun (USA) and Pura López Colomé (Mexico).

Each year, the Griffin Poetry Prize publishes an anthology, a selection of poems from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press. Royalties from the Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

The Griffin Poetry Prize was launched in September, 2000 by trustees Margaret Atwood, Carolyn Forché, Scott Griffin, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. Each year, the trustees (with the exception of Scott Griffin) are responsible for selecting the judges for the prize.

The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry was created to serve and encourage poetry written in English anywhere in the world. Eligible collections of poetry, including translations, must be submitted by publishers no later than December 31 in the calendar year of their publication.

Tickets for the Readings to be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at the MacMillan Theatre are available at or by calling 905-565-5993.

– 30 –

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

Note to booksellers: Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist posters and stickers are supplied free of charge by The Griffin Trust. Click here to view these items and access our order form. Winner stickers will be available after June 4th, 2008.

Please direct other inquiries as follows:

Media Contacts:

Elana Rabinovitch
Telephone: (416) 934-0755

June Dickenson
Telephone: (647) 477-6000

General Inquiries:

Ruth Smith, Manager
Telephone: (905) 565-5993

Shortlisted Publishers’ Web sites:

Coach House Books

Coffee House Press

Faber and Faber

Harper Collins Publishers

Insomniac Press/4 a.m. Books

University of California Press

Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations

Download press release, poet bios and citations | Download photos

Purchase 2008 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online

Return to the News Release index.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *