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Jorie Graham Shortlisted for 2024 Griffin Poetry Prize

Friday, 19 Apr 2024

Cover of book which is white with the title and author name in large black and red text We're delighted to share the news that after being longlisted for the 2024 Griffin Poetry Prize, Jorie Graham has made it onto the shortlist with her collection To 2040! The collection is published by Carcanet in the UK and Ireland and Copper Canyon in the US. Congratulations to Jorie and all the other poets and publishers on the list.

Judges Albert F. Moritz (Canada), Jan Wagner (Germany), and Anne Waldman (USA) each read 592 books of poetry, including 49 translations from 22 languages, submitted by 235 publishers from 14 different countries.

The winner will be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings to be held at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Wednesday, June 5, and will be awarded $130,000. The other shortlisted finalists will each receive $10,000.


Athuor photo black and white To 2040 begins with question masquerading as fact: 'Are we / extinct yet. Who owns / the map.' These visionary new poems reveal Graham as historian, cartographer, prophet, plotting an apocalyptic world where rain must be translated, silence sings louder than speech, and wired birds parrot recordings of their extinct ancestors. In one poem, the speaker is warned by a clairvoyant, 'the American experiment will end in 2030'. Graham exposes a potentially inevitable future, sirens sounding among industrial ruins. In sparse lines that move with cinematic precision, we pan from overhead views of reshaped shorelines to close-ups of a burrowing worm. Here, we linger, climate crisis on hold, as Graham invites the reader to sit silent, to hear soil breathe. To 2040 is narrated by a speaker who reflects on her own mortality – in the glass window of a radiotherapy room, in the first 'claw full of hair' placed gently on a green shower ledge. 2040 as both future and event-horizon: the reader leaves the book warned, wiser, attentively on edge. 'Inhale. / Are you still there / the sun says to me'. The title poem asks, 'what was yr message, what were u meant to / pass on?'

The collection was winner of the Laurel Prize 2023, and a Publishers Weekly, Guardian, The Irish Times, Financial Times and Telegraph Book of the Year.






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