Jordan Abel wins $65K Griffin Poetry Prize for Injun

Alice Oswald won the international prize for Falling Awake. First established in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize is among the most lucrative poetry prizes in the world.
Jordan Abel is the author of the poetry collection Injun. (Talonbooks)

Jordan Abel has won the Canadian 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize for Injun. The poetry collection explores the history and impact of the representation of Indigenous people in pulp western novels published between 1840 and 1950.

"As a poet who writes about the difficult issues of racism, colonial oppression and intergenerational trauma, I never though this would happen," Abel said upon accepting the award. "This is a win for all the people who fought, and continue to fight against, appropriation and against the architecture of colonialism."

The other Canadian finalists were Hoa Nguyen for Violet Energy Ingots and Sandra Ridley for Silvija.

Past Canadian winners include Anne Carson, Roo Borson and Dionne Brand. Liz Howard won in 2016 for Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent.

Alice Oswald won the international Griffin Poetry Prize for Falling Awake.

The other international finalists were Jane Mead for World of Made and Unmade, Donald Nicholson-Smith for the translation of In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi and Denise Riley for Say Something Back.

First established in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize is among the most lucrative poetry prizes in the world. Abel and Oswald will each take home $65,000. Each poet on the shortlist will receive $10,000.

The 2017 judging panel read 617 submissions from 39 countries. The jury consisted of Canadian poet Sue Goyette, American poet Joan Naviyuk Kane and British poet George Szirtes.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?