The 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize winners

The Griffin Poetry Prize was founded in 2000 to promote excellence in poetry, both at a national and international level. The Canadian and International Griffin Prizes are awarded annually to first-edition books of poetry that have been written in, or translated to, English. The shortlist of four international poets and three Canadians is selected by a panel of three qualified judges carefully selected by the Griffin Trustees. These judges are typically esteemed poets and writers, and are different each year. The Canadian nominees are eligible to win both prizes, and each winner receives $65,000 CDN.

The 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist

This year, the judges were Ian Williams (Canada), Sarah Howe (UK), and Ben Lerner (US). Of the 542 poetry books submitted from 33 countries, including 17 translations, a shortlist of seven books was announced on April 10.

This Wound is a World 🇨🇦
Billy-Ray Belcourt
Frontenac House
9781927823644
Canadian Winner
I have to live. 🇨🇦
Aisha Sasha John
McClelland & Stewart
9780771050701
Same Diff 🇨🇦
Donato Mancini
Talonbooks
9781772011364
Debths
Susan Howe
New Directions
9780811226851
International Winner
Heaven is All Goodbyes
Tongo Eisen-Martin
City Lights
9780872867451
Whereas
Layli Long Soldier
Graywolf Press
9781555977672
Hard Child
Natalie Shapero
Copper Canyon Press
9781556595097

On June 6, all of the Griffin Poetry Prize nominees took to the stage at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto to read excerpts from their shortlisted poetry collections. Each of the poets was presented with a leather-bound copy of their book, as well as $10,000 CDN.

The 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize winners

  The founder of the prize, Scott Griffin (centre), presents this year's prizes to the winners: Billy-Ray Belcourt (left) and Susan Howe (right).

The founder of the prize, Scott Griffin (centre), presents this year's prizes to the winners: Billy-Ray Belcourt (left) and Susan Howe (right).

The winners were chosen on June 7 at a gala held in The Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery Historic District. Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of The Wound is a World, won the Canadian prize, and Susan Howe, author of Debths, won the international prize. Romanian contemporary poet Ana Blandiana also received The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's 2018 Lifetime Recognition Award.