The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2009 Canadian and International Shortlist

TORONTO – April 7, 2009 – 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 Saskia Hamilton, Dennis O’Driscoll and Michael Redhill each read 485 books of poetry, including 33 translations, received from 32 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 2, 2009. The winners, who each receive C$50,000, will be announced on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at the ninth annual Griffin Poetry Prize Awards Evening.

Canadian Shortlist

Revolver • Kevin Connolly
House of Anansi Press

Crabwise to the Hounds • Jeramy Dodds
Coach House Books

The Sentinel • A. F. Moritz
House of Anansi Press

International Shortlist

The Lost Leader • Mick Imlah
Faber and Faber

Life on Earth • Derek Mahon
The Gallery Press

Rising, Falling, Hovering • C. D. Wright
Copper Canyon Press

Primitive Mentor • Dean Young
University of Pittsburgh Press

The judges for the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize are the distinguished writers and poets Saskia Hamilton (United States), Dennis O’Driscoll (Ireland) and Michael Redhill (Canada). 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 on September 6, 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 2, 2009, at the MacMillan Theatre are available at or by calling (905) 618-0420.

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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 3rd, 2009.

Please direct other inquiries as follows:

Media Contacts:

June Dickenson
Telephone: (647) 477-6000

Elana Rabinovitch
Telephone: (416) 934-0755

General Inquiries:

Ruth Smith, Manager
Telephone: (905) 618-0420

Shortlisted Publishers’ Web sites:

Coach House Books

Copper Canyon Press

Faber and Faber

Gallery Press

House of Anansi Press

University of Pittsburgh Press


Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations

Download press release, poet bios and citations | Download photos

Purchase 2009 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online

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