Thursday, 13 June 2013

Griffin Tale

KJ Mullins fawns over the founder of the Griffin Trust, which will hand out $150,000 in prize money tonight:
Scott Griffin is not what one thinks of when you think of poetry. He is a daredevil, a business maverick and an all around man's man. He also loves poetry and has loved it all of his life. He also knows that while he may have money to spend those who follow their inner muse often do so without a heavy wallet.
Jared Bland argues that the Griffin Prize should do away with the Canadian category:
This prize, and the art it is designed to promote, would be greatly enhanced if it stopped contending that we have a separate history, that we require a provincial playing field of our own.
Andrew Faulkner has his own complaints about the awards:
Chrisian Bök’s criticism of the Governor General's Literary Awards regarding homogenizing tastes could potentially also be leveled at the Griffin Prize, and an eyebrow deserves to be raised at how the prize recycles one year’s shortlisted poet as next year’s juror.
Jason Guriel's report on the 2008 prize still holds up pretty well:
David McFadden, the last poet, seems the most nervous. He’s a short man—the mike’s almost eye-level—-and wears a dark suit, a red dress shirt, and an oversized yellow flower pinned to his lapel. His voice quavers a bit, but his poems sound nice enough, with crowd-pleasing references to donut shops, Toronto’s Bloor Street, and rooftop dancing. A lot of the poetry tonight has been introduced as “avant-garde,” which, given the examples on hand, must mean mildly disjunctive imagery in the form of free verse or prose. Such poetry is surely preferable to what “avant-garde” poetry usually means (funny noises) but is much less entertaining.

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