Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Vancouver Poet Jane Munro Wins the 2015 Griffin Prize

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Jane Munro

Jane Munro began writing when she was just five years old — her mother saved a poem she wrote at that age about her bicycle, in which the young Munro exclaimed that riding made her feel like she was "Queen of the town".

Ms. Munro is indeed queen of the town today, with six books of poetry under her belt, including Blue Sonoma (Brick Books), the collection that captured her the Griffin Poetry Prize. Blue Sonoma is a heartbreaking but vibrant conversation about loss and grief, as Munro details her beloved partner's battle with Alzheimer's. Praised for its wit, insight observations and its keen examination of the myriad tolls of aging, Blue Sonoma is a powerful collection from a poet who was already no stranger to awards, having previously won the Bliss Carman Poetry Award and the Macmillan Prize for Poetry.

The prize was presented at a gala in Toronto on Thursday evening, and comes with $75,000 in prize money for Munro. The other two Canadian nominees — Shane Book and Russell Thornton — received $10,000 each in recognition of their literary excellence.

Also presented was the Griffin International Poetry Prize, which carried the same $75,000 purse for winner Michael Longley, author of The Stairwell (Jonathan Cape). Longley is an Irish poet who has previously won the Whitbread Poetry Award, the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, amongst many other honours. Nominees Wioletta Greg (translator: Marek Kazmierski), Spencer Reece and Wang Xiaoni (translator: Eleanor Goodman) received $10,000 each.

This year marked the 15th anniversary of the prize, supported by philanthropist, author and activist Scott Griffin.

If you missed our interview with the 2015 Griffin-nominated poets, be sure to check it out here!

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