Congratulations to Dionne Brand, Toronto's Poet Laureate, who won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize for her 2010 collection Ossuaries. With the award, Brand also takes home the award's $75,000 purse – the richest in Canadian literature.
The two other finalists for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize were former Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler for his collection Lookout and Montreal's Suzanne Buffman for her collection The Irrationalist.
Gjertrud Schnackenberg, born in Tacoma, Washington, on the Griffin's international prize for her first collection of poetry, Heavenly Questions.
Other finalists in the international category were Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney for Human Chain, Khaled Matawa for his translation of Adonis' Selected Poems, and Philip Mosely for his translation of The Book of Snow by the late Belgian poet François Jacqmin.
All the finalists received $10,000 at the reading they gave last night and both winners then received an additional $65,000 in tonight's ceremony.
Cover image shown from Dionne Brand's Ossuaries, published by McClelland and Steward