Poets Brenda Hillman and Anne Carson were each awarded a C$65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize last night at a gala in Toronto.
Hillman’s Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, published by Wesleyan University Press, won the 2014 international prize. Carson’s Red Doc>, published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada, won this year’s prize for a Canadian book.
First edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English and submitted by publishers anywhere in the world are eligible to be considered. This year, the three-poet jury selected from 539 books from 40 countries around the globe, including 24 translations. This year’s jury members were Robert Bringhurst (Canada), Jo Shapcott (UK) and C.D. Wright (USA).
Hillman is a professor and poet-in-residence at St. Mary’s College in Morago, Calif., and Carson, a professor of Classics, currently teaches at the University of Michigan.
Brazilian poet and writer Adélia Prado was also honored with The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The seven shortlisted poets all participated in readings for an audience of about 1,000 on the evening before the awards were presented and all received a $10,000 honorarium.
The other finalists were:
• Rachael Boast’s Pilgrim’s Flower, published by Picador
• 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
• Sue Goyette’s Ocean, published by Gaspereau Press
• Anne Michaels’ Correspondences, published by McClelland & Stewart
Guests at the awards gala also heard a reading from high school student Khalil Mair, the 2013 Bilingual Stream First Prize Champion, of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie. The poetry recitation competition created for students by the Griffin Trust has grown over the last four years to include about 400 schools and an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 students, Griffin said.