Tuesday 6 April 2010

Five days later, the bar is raised again. Griffin adds an extra $100,00 in poetry prize money

Short List announced today at Le Select in Toronto

No sooner did I write that the Scotiabank had raised the bar for Canadian art prizes by creating a $50,000+ annual prize for photographers (see story below http://20minutesoffame.blogspot.com/2010/04/scotiabank-now-title-sponsor-of-contact.html), Scott Griffin goes and doubles it all down on his own dime five days later! Griffin announced at a press conference held in the back salon of Le Select Bistro in Toronto that he and his wife will be giving an extra $100,000 to poets this year!
Scott Griffin, founder of the privately funded Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry told a SRO press conference today that the annual Griffin Poetry Prize will be doubled from $100,000 to $200,000 in recognition of the prize's tenth anniversary.
In a press release handed out at the end of the 30-minute media event, Griffin explains how the extra money will be given out. "The increased amount of $100,000 will be awarded as follows: $10,000 to each of the seven shortlisted - four international and three Canadian - for their participation in the shortlist readings. The winners, announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards evening on Thursday, June 3, 2010, will be awarded $65,000 each, for a total of $75,000 that includes the $10,000 awarded at the Readings the previous evening.
"The size of the prize reflects the importance the Trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry place on poetry, and its influence on literature," continued Mr Griffin "The increased amount of the prize shared among the seven shortlisted poets underlines the importance of the poetry readings, and recognises all seven poets' books."
After announcing the increase in the poetry prize pot Griffin stayed at the podium and recited two EE Cumming poems from memory to the members of the press who attended the morning conference.

The short listed International authors are:

Grain, by John Glenday
A Village Life, by Louise Gluck
The Sun-fish, by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain
Cold Spring in Winter, Susan Wicks, translated from the French, written by Valerie Rouzeau

The Canadian short listed authors are:

The Certainty Dream, by Kate Hall
Coal and Roses, by P.K. Page
Pigeon, by Karen Solie

Cutlines: top: Scott Griffin announced that he is going to give away twice as much money this year than he did in 2009! The co-founder of the Griffin Trust will give away $200,000 in the 10th annual running of his poetry award. After making the announcement he recited two EE Cumming poems from memory to the members of the press who attended the morning press conference. The covers of the books written by the short listed authors hang behind Scott Griffin. Photo by sweir 6 April 2010
bottom: Arts & Minds reporter Tim Powis (middle) calls for quiet as he prepares to interview Scott Griffin following this morning's announcement. Bravo! got first crack at Canadian poetry's most generous patron.