Anne Carson

Canadian poet Anne Carson is a Griffin Poetry Prize nominee for Red Doc, her acclaimed long-form poem. (Random House of Canada)

Prominent Canadian poets Anne Carson and Anne Michaels are vying for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Prize founder Scott Griffin helped kick off the shortlist announcement in Toronto today.

Noted Toronto-born poet Carson is one of three nominees in the Canadian category for Red Doc. The long-form poem has won her widespread praise and, earlier this year, earned her a nomination for the inaugural Folio lit prize. Carson also won the first ever Griffin Prize (in the Canadian category), awarded in 2001.

Fellow Toronto writer Michaels, known both for her internationally bestselling novel Fugitive Pieces and award-winning poetry, is nominated for her latest collection, Correspondences.

Celebrated Halifax poet, novelist and writing professor Sue Goyette rounds out the Canadian list. She is shortlisted for Ocean.

Four contenders are vying for the Griffin's international category:

  • British poet Rachael Boast for her collection Pilgrim's Flower.
  • American poet Brenda Hillman for Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire.
  • American poet and professor Carl Phillips for Silverchest.
  • Translator Mira Rosenthal and Polish poet Tomasz Rozycki for Colonies.

Created by businessman Griffin, the annual prize awards $65,000 each to an international and Canadian poet.

An international judging panel — this year comprising poets Robert Bringhurst of Canada, Jo Shapcott of the U.K. and American C.D. Wright — typically reads hundreds of poetry collections hailing from around the globe. This year, 539 books from 40 countries were submitted for consideration.

The finalists will take part in a reading at Toronto's Koerner Hall on June 4, with each receiving $10,000 for their participation.

The 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize winners will be announced at a gala in Toronto the following night.

As per tradition, the Griffin Trust will also assemble an anthology of poems selected from this year's shortlisted books. Royalties from the anthology will be donated to UNESCO's World Poetry Day. 

Past recipients have included Dionne Brand, Karen Solie and Ken Babstock.


Click here for a link to live CBC Books updates from the announcement.

With files from The Canadian Press