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Karen Solie and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Win 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize

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Karen Solie and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Win 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize

The winners of the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize were announced last night at a ceremony in Toronto. Karen Solie is the Canadian winner for her book Pigeon (House of Anansi Press), and the international prize went to Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin for The Sun-fish (The Gallery Press).

From our friends at The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry:

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's The Sun-fish and Karen Solie's Pigeon are the International and Canadian winners of the tenth annual Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Griffin Poetry Prize was founded in 2000 to serve and encourage excellence in poetry. The prize is for first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English, and submitted from anywhere in the world. In celebration of the prize's tenth anniversary, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry doubled the annual prize money to a cumulative amount of $200,000 (which includes $10,000 for each of the shortlisted poets who participated in the Readings).

The awards ceremony, attended by some 400 invited guests, was held in the Fermenting Cellar at the Stone Distillery and hosted by Scott Griffin, founder of the prize, and Trustees Margaret Atwood, Carolyn Forché, Robert Haas, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young.

Celebrated poet Glyn Maxwell was the evening's featured speaker.

Judges for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize are the distinguished writers and poets Anne Carson (Canada), Kathleen Jamie (Scotland) and Carl Phillips (United States). They read almost 400 books of poetry, including 12 translations, received from 12 countries around the globe.
The judges are selected on an annual basis by the Trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry.

On the previous evening, the shortlisted poets read excerpts from their books at a sold-out event for more than 1,000 people at The Royal Conservatory, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Koerner Hall.

The 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist features collections by three Canadian poets - Kate Hall's The Certainty Dream, published by Coach House Books; Coal and Roses by the late P. K. Page (a selection of which was read by Toronto Poet Laureate and 2003 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted poet Dionne Brand), published by The Porcupine's Quill and Pigeon by Karen Solie, published by House of Anansi Press; and four international poets - John Glenday's Grain, published by Picador; Louise Glück's A Village Life, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's The Sun-fish, published by The Gallery Press and Susan Wick's translation of Cold Spring in Winter by Valérie Rouzeau, published by Arc Publications.

Also that evening, renowned American poet and essayist Adrienne Rich was honoured with the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. Trustee Carolyn Forché paid tribute to Rich and presented her with her award.

Trustee David Young presented each poet with a leather-bound edition of their book.

The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the 2010 Shortlist, edited by A. F. Moritz and published by House of Anansi Press, is now available at most retail bookstores. Royalties generated from the anthologies, published annually, are donated to UNESCO's World Poetry Day. As in past years, copies of the submitted poetry books are being donated to Corrections Canada.

Read a profile of Karen Solie in Open Book's 2010 Spring Magazine.

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