news | Friday June 9, 2017

Abel proves able: Jordan Abel wins the Griffin!

[Kevin Williams, Jordan Abel, and Chelsea Novak at the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize dinner]

photo by Kirby from Knife, Fork, Book
Above (L–R): At the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize dinner, Kevin Williams, Talonbooks publisher; Jordan Abel, winner of the Griffin; Chelsea Novak, reporter and wife of Abel

Well, this is just the greatest day. Injun by Jordan Abel is the Canadian winner of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize! Abel and Alice Oswald – winner in the International category, for her collection Falling Awake – each received $65,000 in prize money.

The Griffin Poetry Prize is the most lucrative prize for poetry in Canada, and one of the most monied literary prizes in the world. The Griffin was founded in 2000 to serve and encourage excellence in poetry. The prize is for first-edition books written in or translated into English and submitted from anywhere in the world. Each year the jury selects an international short list and a Canadian short list. On June 7 in Toronto, the short-listed poets read excerpts from their books to an audience of 1,000 people, and each poet was presented with a leather-bound edition of their book and $10,000 for their participation in the readings.

The awards ceremony was held last night in Toronto’s Distillery District and attended by some 320 guests. Scott Griffin, founder of the prize, and trustees (Mark Doty, Carolyn Forché, Marek Kazmierski, Michael Ondaatje, Jo Shapcott, Karen Solie, and David Young) hosted the event. Judges for this year’s Prize were Sue Goyette (Canada), Joan Naviyuk Kane (US), and George Szirtes (UK). These distinguished writers and poets each read 617 books of poetry, received from 39 countries around the globe, including 23 translations, if you can believe it!

Read the official Griffin announcement, and see coverage of Abel’s win by the Globe & Mail, CBC Books, CBC Radio q, the Ottawa Citizen (also syndicated in the Montreal Gazette, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, and others), Global News, BC BookLook, and Castlegar News (a nice hometown shout-out; Abel currently resides in Castlegar, BC).

And get your hands on a copy of Injun for $16.95.

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