One of the most lucrative prizes in poetry will be handed out at a gala event in Toronto tonight.
The Griffin Poetry Prize will award $65,000 each to two winners – one Canadian and one international.
A long poem about racism and the representation of indigenous peoples from Nisga’a writer Jordan Abel is among the three Canadian titles shortlisted for the award.
The Vancouver poet, who resides in Castlegar, B.C., made the list of seven overall Griffin finalists for “Injun” (Talonbooks).
Saskatchewan-raised, Ottawa-based poet Sandra Ridley was recognized for “Silvija” (BookThug).
Rounding out the Canadian short list is “Violet Energy Ingots” by Toronto-based Hoa Nguyen (Wave Books). Born in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, Nguyen is a permanent Canadian resident who teaches at Ryerson University.
The international short list includes:
– American writer Jane Mead for “World of Made and Unmade” (Alice James Books)
– “In Praise of Defeat” by Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laabi, translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith (Archipelago Books)
– British poet Alice Oswald for “Falling Awake” (Jonathan Cape/W.W. Norton & Company)
– British poet and philosopher Denise Riley for “Say Something Back” (Picador)
Judges Sue Goyette, Joan Naviyuk Kane and George Szirtes each read 617 books of poetry from 39 countries, including 23 translations.
The Griffin Trust was founded in 2000 by chairman Scott Griffin, along with trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young.
The Griffin is billed as the world’s largest prize for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.
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