Griffin Math, Updated for 2010

So, congratulations to Karen Solie and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, winners of the 2010 Griffin Prizes. As well as $75k each, the former now holds the title of Canada’s best-regarded poet under 45, and the latter is the owner of the poetry blogosphere’s most cut-and-pasted name. Those of you who keep up with the Torontoist will know that I used my Awesome Historical Research Powers (my ARHPs) to predict an International Griffin for the most American and famous of the shortlisted poets (Louise Gluck). I even went so far as to convince Paul Vermeersch to change his prediction for his much higher-profile punditry gig over at The Globe and Mail. His original hunch, before I told him all about how numbers don’t lie and how I had a system? Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. Sorry, Pauly. I owe you a drink.

Thanks to those who wrote in with additions and comments on the Griffin math piece. Some of you had really great ideas for additional research, which I promise to get right onto once the Griffin Trust hires me full time to be their in-house statistician. As I wait for that phone call, though, I offer these simple updates to our tallies, hastily assembled on my lunch break from the job I have instead.

Canada Griffin Award Wins by Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart (3)
Coach House (2)
House of Anansi (2)
Vintage Canada (1)
Brick Books (1)
University of California Press (1)

Anansi joins the ranks of the multi-Griffined presses. They’ve now one two in a row. This has been done once before (McClelland & Stewart, with Simpson’s Loop and Borson’s Short Journey…, in 2004 and 2005).

Canadian Griffin Awards by Gender
Women: 6 wins off 16 shortlistings
Men: 4 wins off 13 shortlistings
Mixed: 0 wins off 1 shortlisting

Karen puts a point on the board for the ladies. If this were a tennis match, they’d be up a set.

International Griffin Awards by Gender
Men: 6 wins off 26 shortlistings
Women: 3 wins off 13 shortlistings
Mixed: 1 win off 1 shortlisting

Ní Chuilleanáin. This was likely the most appreciated change of the night, from a strictly demographical point of view. The International Griffin was probably another dude or two away from a “Boys’ Club” reputation.

Canadian Griffin Awards by Region of Birth:
Ontario: 4 wins, from 11 shortlistings
United States: 3 wins, from 4 shortlistings
Manitoba: 1 win, from 2 shortlistings
Atlantic Canada: 1 win, from 2 shortlistings
Saskatchewan: 1 wins, from 2 shortlistings
Alberta: 0 wins, from 4 shortlistings
Quebec: 0 wins, from 2 shortlistings
UK: 0 wins, from 2 shortlistings
Trinidad: 0 wins, from 1 shortlisting
BC: 0 wins, from 1 shortlisting

Karen puts a point on the board for Saskatchewan, which becomes the fourth province to seed a future Griffin winner over the prize’s first ten years. See what I did there? That’s right. Farming metaphor…

International Griffin Awards by Nationality:
USA: 7 wins, from 25 shortlistings
UK: 1 wins, from 10 shortlistings
Ireland: 1 wins, from 2 shortlistings
Barbados: 1 win, from 1 shortlisting
Australia: 0 wins, from 2 shortlistings

This tally depends on your definition of “nationality” a bit. She’s the second Irish poet to win, though the first (Paul Muldoon), is from Northern Ireland, and so classified as a UK poet. May my IRA-supporting distant relatives forgive me this sell-out.

Okay, enough Griffins for another year. I’m feeling antsy, as I sometimes do whenever poets are seen attending events that look just like what Stephen Harper would have the world believe we do every day. If you’re hankering for a down-and-dirty grassroots antidote to the tux-and-smalltalk sessions of Griffin week, the best thing I can offer you is the second annual Indie Literary Market. Today (Saturday) from noon to five at Clinton’s on Bloor (home of the Art Bar, if you don’t know it). Here’s a link to the Facebook event page, complete with a list of participating presses. If you’re feeling particularly affectionate towards me, you could visit the Emergency Response Unit table and buy my chapbook, or flag down the Toronto Poetry Vendors’ travelling snack bar and buy a poem.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Awards, Canadian Literature, Events, Poems in the Wider World

One Comment on “Griffin Math, Updated for 2010”


  1. […] being said, I wanted to update this old Griffin Math post to reflect the winners (Gjertrud Schnackenberg and Dionne! Fucking! Brand!) and shortlistees of the […]


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