Jun 07, 2019
By Jane Brown
Eve Joseph has been named the Canadian winner of the prestigious $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize.
The Victoria-based writer received the honour Thursday night at an awards ceremony in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District.
Joseph was recognized for her third poetry collection Quarrels, and says she was shocked by the win.
“I feel like I’m a little bit out of my body,” 66 year old Joseph said after the win, “but also paradoxically completely in my body, completely here and present, and savouring it and enjoying it. One does not expect to feel and experience this in one’s life.”
Having retired last year, Joseph said the time she spent immersed in the “extremity: of the human story helped her find the “bigger-than-life stories” in writing Quarrels.
The international winner also received $65,000. Don Mee Choi won for Autobiography of Death translated from the Korean written by Kim Hyesoon.
The Griffin is billed as the world’s largest prize for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.