The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2019 International and Canadian Shortlist

TORONTO – April 9, 2019 – Scott Griffin, on behalf of the trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, is pleased to announce the International and Canadian shortlist for this year’s prize. Judges Ulrikka Gernes (Denmark), Srikanth Reddy (USA), and Kim Maltman (Canada) each read 510 books of poetry, from 32 countries, including 37 translations.

The authors of the seven shortlisted books —four International and three Canadian—will be invited to read in Toronto at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, on Wednesday, June 5 at 7.30 p.m.

The finalists will each be awarded $10,000 for their participation in the Shortlist Readings.

The two winners, to be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards on Thursday, June 6, will each be awarded $65,000.

Announcing the Griffin Poetry Prize 2019 Shortlist

International Shortlist

The Perseverance
Raymond Antrobus

Penned in the Margins

Lake Michigan
Daniel Borzutzky

University of Pittsburgh Press

Autobiography of Death
Don Mee Choi
translated from the Korean by Kim Hyesoon

New Directions

Negative Space
Ani Gjika
translated from the Albanian by Luljeta Lleshanaku

Bloodaxe Books

Canadian Shortlist

The Blue Clerk
Dionne Brand

McClelland & Stewart

Eve Joseph

Anvil Press

The Art of Dying
Sarah Tolmie

McGill-Queen’s University Press

Tickets for the Shortlist Readings to be held on Wednesday, June 5, at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto are available at, or by calling (416) 408-0208.

Each year, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry presents an anthology of poems selected from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press. The 2019 Anthology can be purchased at

Note to booksellers: Griffin Poetry Prize book stickers are supplied free of charge by The Griffin Trust. Contact to place an order. Winner book stickers will be available after June 6.

Media Inquiries:

Melissa Shirley
Telephone: (647) 389-9510

General Inquiries:

Ruth Smith, Executive Director
Telephone: (905) 618-0420

Shortlisted Publishers’ Web sites:

Anvil Press:

Bloodaxe Books:

McGill-Queen’s University Press:

McClelland & Stewart:

New Directions:

Penned in the Margins:

University of Pittsburgh Press: