The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry has announced seven shortlisted authors. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

All-female short list of Canadian poets to vie for Griffin Poetry Prize

TORONTO — An all-female short list of Canadian poets will vie for this year’s Griffin Poetry Prize, including renowned wordsmiths Dionne Brand, Eve Joseph, and Sarah Tolmie.

The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry has announced the authors of seven shortlisted books, including four international and three Canadian contenders. A Canadian and international winner will each get $65,000 at a gala June 6. Each finalist receives $10,000 for participating in readings of their work June 5 in Toronto.

Brand, a past winner of the Griffin, makes the list for her book, “The Blue Clerk,” from McClelland & Stewart, while Joseph is being recognized for the prose poems in “Quarrels,” from Anvil Press. Tolmie is in the running for “The Art of Dying,” from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

The international short list includes British-Jamaican spoken-word poet Raymond Antrobus, whose first collection “The Perseverance” published by Penned in the Margins includes meditations on his experience as a deaf writer.

Also on the list is Chicago-based Daniel Borzutzky’s “Lake Michigan,” from University of Pittsburgh Press, and ”Autobiography of Death” by Seoul-born, Seattle-based Don Mee Choi, published by New Directions and translated from the Korean work written by Kim Hyesoon.

Judges also hailed “Negative Space,” by Albanian-born poet and literary translator Ani Gjika for her glimpse into contemporary Albanian poetry. It was translated from the Albanian poems written by Luljeta Lleshanaku, and published by Bloodaxe Books.

Prize organizers say judges Ulrikka Gernes of Denmark, Srikanth Reddy of the United States and Kim Maltman of Canada each read 510 books of poetry, from 32 countries, including 37 translations.

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