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‘Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence’ wins Griffin Poetry Prize

Written by on June 5, 2024

TORONTO — “Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence,” written in Spanish by Homero Aridjis and translated into English by Irish-Canadian writer George McWhirter, has won the Griffin Poetry Prize.

The $130,000 award was announced at a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, though Aridjis was not able to attend after undergoing medical treatments.

Jurors praised the collection, which uses mythical imagery to examine emotional realities, for presenting “a rounded human being engaged with our total experience.”

McWhirter, who was Vancouver’s first poet laureate from 2007 to 2009, is the former head of the creative writing department at the University of British Columbia.

Aridjis is president emeritus of PEN International, a writers association.

He also served as Mexico’s ambassador to Switzerland, the Netherlands and UNESCO.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press