Poet Jordan Abel won the Griffin Poetry Prize for his work Injun. (Chelsea Novak/ Castlegar News)

Castlegar-area author Jordan Abel wins Griffin Poetry Prize

Poetry prize worth $65K goes to Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel for his book Injun.

Castlegar-area poet Jordan Abel took home the Griffin Poetry Prize Thursday night.

Abel was awarded the prize for Injun, his book of conceptual poetry published by Talonbooks in 2016.

“It feels totally unreal —I was not expecting this at all,” said Abel from the award ceremony in Toronto Thursday night. “It really was a total surprise.”

The Griffin is one of the largest prizes in the world for a first-edition, single collection of poetry written in English. Short-listed authors receive $10,000 and the winner receives $65,000. The judges read 617 books before selecting the short-list nominees. The other Canadian finalists were were Sandra Ridley for Silvija and Hoa Nguyen for Violet Energy Ingots. The award also includes an international category which Alice Oswald won for Falling Awake.

Abel is a Nisga’a writer who is working on completing his PhD at Simon Fraser University. He is currently living in Robson with his wife Chelsea Novak, a journalist with the Castlegar News and the Rossland News.

Abel thanked his wife and his publisher in his acceptance speech and emphasized the problems associated with cultural appropriation.

“As a Nisga’a who mostly writes about the difficult issues of racism, colonial appropriation, and intergenerational trauma, I honestly never thought I would get here,” said Abel.

“I just want to say that I think this is a win for all the people who have fought and continue to fight against appropriation, and for those who continue to fight and resist the architectures of colonialism that we continue to find ourselves in,” added Abel.

Abel also broke out of the traditional mold for poetry readings at the poetry event held Wednesday night to showcase the Griffin Prize short-listed authors. He impressed the audience of more than 1,000 people with his sound poetry performance instead of a traditional reading.

Just Posted

Castlegar Rebels readying to meet Nitehawks in playoffs

Castlegar Rebels readying to meet Beaver Valley Nitehawks in playoffs

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

ALR review may not be open-minded

Past agriculture minister Norm Letnick skeptical of NDP approach

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Most Read