The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most generous poetry award. It was founded in 2000 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin. The awards go to one Canadian and one international poet who writes in the English language. Each winner receives CAD$50,000.
In April 2000, Scott Griffin started the Griffin Trust to raise public awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in society's cultural life. Griffin served as its Chairman, with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. In June 2004, Carolyn Forché joined the board of Trustees.
The Trust created the Griffin Poetry Prize with the aim of helping to introduce contemporary collections of poetry to the public's imagination. Originally, the award was two annual prizes of CAD$40,000 each, for collections of poetry published in English during the preceding year. One prize for a living Canadian poet, the other to a living poet from any other country, which could include Canada. Qualified judges are selected annually by the Trustees. The prize shortlists are announced in April (National Poetry Month) every year. The shortlisted poets gather for an evening of public readings every May/June, and the winners are announced and all of the poets are feted the following evening.
In April 2005, Scott Griffin increased the amount of the prize for each of the two winners to CAD$50,000.
Eligible collections of poetry must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the prior year. Submission must come from the publishers only.