Founder Scott Griffin left, with translator Fady Joudah and poet Ghassan Zaqtan
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Griffin Poetry Prize

Griffin Poetry Prize 2013 Winners

The Griffin Poetry Prizes were awarded last night and in the international category, ‘Like a Straw Bird it follows Me, and Other Poems’ written by Ghassan Zaqtan and translated into English by Fady Joudah, was the winner.  The Canadian book, ‘What’s the Score’ by David W. McFadden, was chosen.  They writers each received C$65,000 which, will be split between the writer and the translator in the case of ‘Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, and Other Poems’.

The prize is for first edition books written in, or translated into English.

The Gala was held on the lakeside in Toronto and hosted by the founder of the prize, Scott Griffin, and trustees Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, David Young and Robert Haas.  They select the judges each year, and this year the trio consisted of Suzanne Buffam from Canada, Mark Doty from the United States and Wang Ping from China.  They read 509 books from 40 countries, including 15 translations.

The prize is for first edition books written in, or translated into English.

Scott Griffin with the Canadian winner, David W. McFadden © courtesy of the Griffin Poetry Prize

The seven finalists read excerpts from their works on June 12th and were each presented with a leather-bound copy of their book and a C$10,000 honorarium for participating.  Now ‘The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology:  A Selection of the 2013 Shortlist’ is available and Royalties are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

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