This morning the Griffin Poetry Prize announced its 10-book 2023 longlist, its first since the prize underwent major changes to open its eligibility to publishers worldwide, consolidating its two previous prizes (one that had been open to Canadian collections exclusively and the other open to all international publishers).
It was a move that turned the now single Griffin Prize into the biggest poetry award in the world in terms of prize money (as the prizes purses of the two previous awards were consolidated), with the winner taking home $130,000.
Three Canadians have made the 10-title longlist in the first year of the prize's new incarnation: decorated multi-genre writer Susan Musgrave; Iman Mersal, whose collection The Threshold appears on the list translated into English by American poet Robyn Creswell; and Cretan Canadian poet, translator, and publisher Manolis Aligizakis, the latter of whom is nominated for his translation of Tasos Livaditis' collection, originally written in Greek. The United States snagged the most nominations, with five titles, as well as being included as a co-publisher in a sixth nominated collection by Vietnamese American literary superstar Ocean Vuong.
Chosen by judges Nikola Madzirov (Macedonia), Gregory Scofield (Canada), and Natasha Trethewey (USA), the longlist was selected from 602 books of poetry, including 54 translations from 20 languages, submitted by 229 publishers from 20 different countries.
The 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize Longlist:
- Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II, Manolis Aligizakis, Canada, translated from the Greek written by Tasos Livaditis, Greece, Libros Libertad
- The Study of Human Life, Joshua Bennett, USA, Penguin Books
- The Threshold, Robyn Creswell, USA, translated from the Arabic written by Iman Mersal, Egypt/Canada, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- The Jaguar, Sarah Holland-Batt, Australia, University of Queensland Press
- The Hurting Kind, Ada Limón, USA, Corsair Poetry
- Exculpatory Lilies, Susan Musgrave, Canada, McClelland & Stewart
- Balladz, haron Olds, USA, Alfred A. Knopf
- Best Barbarian, Roger Reeves, USA, W. W. Norton
- Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, Warsan Shire, Somali/UK, Penguin Canada
- Time Is a Mother, Ocean Vuong, Vietnam/USA, Cape Poetry, and Penguin Press
The shortlist of five books will be announced on Wednesday, April 19, and the final winner at the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings, which will be held at Koerner Hall on Wednesday, June 7. The remaining shortlisted finalists will each receive $10,000.
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Tickets for the 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize Readings are now on sale and can be purchased at the box office of Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West or online. General adult tickets are $30.00 and senior or student tickets are $25.00. All tickets include a copy of the 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize anthology.