What is the Griffin Poetry Prize?
The Griffin Poetry Prize is one of the world’s most generous poetry awards.
The Prize is worth C$130,000, making it the world’s largest international prize for a single book of poetry written in, or translated into, English.
Additionally, a C$10,000 prize is awarded for a Canadian First Book, and a Lifetime Recognition Award is presented in the sum of C$25,000.
Who founded the prize?
The Prize was founded in 2000 by Margaret Atwood, Scott Griffin, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, and David Young.
Why was the Griffin Poetry Prize created?
The Griffin Poetry Prize was created to raise public awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in society’s cultural life. The Prize’s purpose is to introduce contemporary collections of poetry to the public’s imagination.
Who are the current trustees?
The current trustees are Mark Doty, Carolyn Forché, Scott Griffin, Sarah Howe, Paul Muldoon, Karen Solie, Aleš Šteger, and Ian Williams. Read more about our trustees here.
Has a translation ever won the griffin poetry prize?
2001: Glottal Stop: 101 Poems by Paul Celan, Nikolai Popov and Heather McHugh translated from the German written by Paul Celan
2013: Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, Fady Joudah translated from the Arabic written by Ghassan Zaqtan
2019: Autobiography of Death, Don Mee Choi translated from the Korean written by Kim Hyesoon
2020: Time, Sarah Riggs translated from the Arabic written by Etel Adnan
Who has won the lifetime recognition award?
Please find our Lifetime Recognition Award recipients here.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES AND PUBLISHERS USUALLY SUBMIT TO THE PRIZE?
Every year, we receive submissions from publishers all over the world. In 2023, we received 602 prize entries from 229 publishers in 20 different countries.
How many different languages are usually submitted to the Prize?
In 2023, we received poetry translations from twenty languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Marathi, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.
HOW CAN I SUBMIT TO THE PRIZE?
Submissions must come from publishers, who may enter an unlimited number of titles.
Individuals cannot submit to the Griffin Poetry Prize.
WHAT DO PUBLISHERS SUBMIT?
Publishers submit an entry form for each submission, along with four copies of each title. A current headshot photo of the author/translator, biography, and digital book jacket cover must also be submitted via email.
IS THERE A SUBMISSION FEE FOR THE PRIZE?
No! There is no submission fee for publishers to enter collections to the Griffin Poetry Prize.
WHEN IS THE PRIZE DEADLINE?
There are two deadlines:
- Works published between January 1 and June 30 are to be submitted and postmarked no later than June 30. Submissions must be received by the first Friday in July.
- Works published between July 1 and December 31 are to be submitted and postmarked no later than December 31. Submissions must be received by the first Friday in January.
WHEN ARE THE FINALISTS AND WINNER ANNOUNCED?
- March: Longlist of 10 books announced
- April: Shortlist of 5 books announced
- May: Canadian First Book Prize winner announced
- June: Griffin Poetry Prize Winner and Lifetime Recognition Award recipient announced at the Readings in Toronto, Canada
DO AUTHORS FIND OUT IN ADVANCE IF THEY ARE LONGLISTED OR SHORTLISTED FOR THE PRIZE?
Authors and publishers do not receive advance notice of the Longlist or Shortlist.
On the day the Longlist and Shortlist is announced on our website and social media channels, we personally call each poet to let them know.
WHO RECEIVES THE PRIZE MONEY: THE PUBLISHER WHO SUBMITS THE TITLE OR THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK?
The Prize is awarded to the poets and/or translators who produced the works. Publishers do not receive any prize monies from the Griffin Poetry Prize, but do benefit from the heightened profile their books receive when they are longlisted or shortlisted for the Prize.
HOW IS THE PRIZE MONEY DIVIDED FOR TRANSLATORS AND ORIGINAL POETS?
Should the prize-winning book be a translation, the Prize is awarded 60% to the translator(s), and 40% to the original poet. If the original poet is dead, but his/her work is within copyright, 40% of the Prize is given to the original poet’s estate.
WHAT KIND OF POETRY BOOKS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE?
To be eligible for the Prize, a book of poetry must be a first-edition collection (i.e., not previously published in any country), written in, or translated into, English, by a poet/translator from any part of the world, including Canada.
Are self-published poetry books eligible?
No. Self-published books are not eligible. This requirement is consistent with major literary prizes around the world. The annual jury for the Griffin Poetry Prize consists of three judges, who have approximately four months to read and evaluate 600 or more books before the Longlist and Shortlist are formulated and announced. Opening the prize to include self-published works sent directly by authors would increase entry volume and make the judging process difficult to manage in a thoughtful and timely manner. The Griffin Poetry Prize is continuously evaluating the inclusion of self-published works.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “SELF-PUBLISHED”?
A self-published work is one for which the author has paid for and managed all aspects of producing the work, from the creative to the work’s editing, physical and/or digital production, marketing and promotion, and distribution.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM LENGTH OF A POETRY BOOK ELIGIBLE FOR THE PRIZE?
A book is defined as having at least forty-eight pages of poetry. The page count does not include blank pages or a book’s front and end matter, such as table of contents, introduction or acknowledgements.
ARE PUBLISHED SELF-TRANSLATED BOOKS ELIGIBLE?
Yes. If the work meets all other eligibility requirements, a self-translated poetry collection can be entered for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
ARE COLLABORATIVE TRANSLATIONS ELIGIBLE?
A book of translation by two translators is eligible if they have collaborated throughout. A book of translation by various hands is not eligible.
ARE “SELECTED” AND “COLLECTED” BOOKS ELIGIBLE?
Selected and Collected volumes are only eligible as translations into English.
ARE CHAPBOOKS ELIGIBLE?
No. Books submitted to the Griffin Poetry Prize must have at least forty-eight pages of poetry.
ARE E-BOOKS ACCEPTED?
No. Ebook-only submissions are not currently accepted. Publishers must submit four printed copies of each entry.
CAN PUBLISHERS FROM COUNTRIES OUTSIDE EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA SUBMIT TO THE PRIZE?
Yes. Publishers from anywhere in the world can submit poetry collections. Have a look at our submitting publishers database.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?
No. There are no age restrictions associated with the prize. As long as your work complies with the eligibility criteria outlined in the rules, your publisher is welcome to submit it.
ARE BOOKS OF POETRY WRITTEN BY MORE THAN ONE AUTHOR ELIGIBLE?
Books written in English must be the work of one poet. Translated works are eligible if there are no more than two translators. See Rule 4(g), Eligibility Criteria, in the submission Rules.
ARE SINGLE-POEM BOOKS (I.E., BOOK-LENGTH POEMS) ELIGIBLE?
Yes. As long as such books meet all other criteria (refer to the Rules), they are eligible.
IF YOU ARE A PARTNER AT THE PUBLISHING COMPANY WHICH PRODUCED YOUR WORK, AND YOUR BOOK IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE, MAY IT BE SUBMITTED? OR IS YOUR BOOK CONSIDERED “SELF-PUBLISHED”?
If someone publishes their work with a publishing company of which they are a principal, they can still submit that work for the Griffin Poetry Prize as long as the publishing company publishes works by multiple authors. When your firm submits your entries, we invite you to include information about your publishing company’s current or recent catalogues.
Canadian First Book Prize
WHAT IS THE CANADIAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE?
Valued at $10,000, the Canadian First Book Prize is for a first-edition collection of poetry written in English by a living Canadian poet.
A six-week Affiliated Fellowship with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Perugia, Italy, is offered in addition to the prize monies.
WHAT KIND OF POETRY BOOKS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE CANADIAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE?
To be eligible for the Canadian First Book Prize, a book of poetry must be a first-edition collection (i.e. not previously published in any country) written in English, by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
ARE TRANSLATIONS ELIGIBLE FOR THE CANADIAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE?
No. Translations are not eligible for the Canadian First Book Prize.
IS THERE A LONGLIST OR SHORTLIST FOR THE CANADIAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE?
No. There is no Longlist or Shortlist for the Canadian First Book Prize.
WHO CHOOSES THE JUDGES?
The Griffin Poetry Prize trustees select qualified judges annually.
WHAT DO THE JUDGES DO?
The judges each read all submissions and select the Longlist, Shortlist, Winner, and the Canadian First Book Prize winner in private deliberations.
DO THE JUDGES ALSO CHOOSE THE LIFETIME RECOGNITION AWARD RECIPIENT?
No. The Griffin Poetry Prize trustees select the Lifetime Recognition Award recipient.
HOW ELSE DO YOU SUPPORT POETS?
We curate the Griffin Poetry Calendar on our website, filled with international poetry opportunities, events, submission deadlines, publishing opportunities, and more. Additionally, you can learn more about our Initiatives & Partnerships.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND A PUBLISHER TO ME?
We invite you to take a look at our Database of Publishers who have submitted eligible works to the Griffin Poetry Prize since the Prize’s inception.
CAN ANYONE ATTEND THE GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE READINGS?
Yes. Everyone is welcome to attend the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings, held annually in Toronto in June.
DO YOU HOST OTHER EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR?
Yes! We also host Translation Talks online, a series of conversations about translation and poetry where past shortlisted and winning authors are invited to discuss their craft. Guests have included Khaled Mattawa, Valzhyna Mort, Erín Moure, and Sarah Riggs.