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Griffin Poetry Prize 2023 longlist announced

The longlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize 2023 was announced in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

The Griffin Poetry Prize is the world’s largest international prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English. The Canada-based prize was founded by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin in 2000. The award has geographical categories with one for a Canadian poet and one international poet who writes in the English language. Some previous winners have been Anne Carson, Nikolai Popov, Kamau Brathwaite, and Canisia Lubrin. Tolu Oloruntoba and Douglas Kearney won in 2022.

Judges Nikola Madzirov (Macedonia), Gregory Scofield (Canada), and Natasha Trethewey (USA) each read 602 books of poetry, including 54 translations from 20 languages, submitted by 229 publishers from 20 different countries. From the longlist announced on Wednesday, here are the writers of African descent in the running;

  • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, Warsan Shire, Somali/UK, Penguin Canada
  • The Study of Human Life, Joshua Bennett, USA, Penguin Books
  • The Threshold, Robyn Creswell, USA, translated from the Arabic written by Iman Mersal, Egypt/Canada, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Best Barbarian, Roger Reeves, USA, W. W. Norton

The five shortlisted books will be announced on Wednesday, April 19 and the winner revealed at the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings in Toronto on Wednesday, June 7. They will receive $130,000 while other shortlisted finalists will each receive $10,000.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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