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George McWhirter Makes Shortlist for Griffin Poetry Prize

Canadian translator George McWhirter has made the shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and is being recognized for Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence, which was translated from Spanish and written by Mexican poet Homero Aridjis, according to

McWhirter, who is a Vancouver-based poet and translator, will be vying for the $130,000 prize, which is the world’s largest prize for a single book of poetry written in or translated into the English language.

Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence brings poet-translator George McWhirter’s adept English to the service of a great world-poet, Homero Aridjis” the 2024 jury said in an official press release. The jury is made up by Canadian poet A.F. Moritz, German poet Jan Wagner and American poet Anne Waldman.

“The book’s enchanting variety of tones and subjects expresses a rounded human being engaged with our total experience, from the familial to the political, from bodily sensations to dream, vision, philosophic thought, and history, from hope to foreboding. A keynote is the sense of a person speaking with us plainly and yet from kinship with a light that bathes, and springs from, each thing.”

Here is a look at the complete shortlist.

  • A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails by Halyna Kruk, translated from Ukrainian by Amelia M. Glaser and Yuliya Ilchuk
  • To 2040 by Jorie Graham
  • School of Instructions by Ishion Hutchinson
  • Door by Ann Lauterbach
  • Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence by Homero Aridjis, translated from Spanish by George McWhirter

Tolu Oloruntoba, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Anne Carson, Roo Borson, Dionne Brand and Jordan Abel are some of the Canadians who have won the prize in the past.

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