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Breyten Breytenbach Appointed as One of the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize Judges

Alert! Poet, novelist and artist Breyten Breytenbach has been appointed as one of the judges for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

KatalekteImagine AfricaBreytenbach will be joined by Canadian poet Suzanne Buffam and US poet and teacher Mark Doty on the judging panel of the world’s largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in, or translated into English. Annually, the Griffin Trust awards a $65 000 prize to a poet living in Canada and another $65 000 to a poet from any country.

We have a South African judge but could a local poet perhaps make the shortlist which will be announced on 9 April 2013? Fingers crossed! The submissions deadline for the 2013 Prize, for books published this year, is 31 December 2012.

South African writer, painter and human rights activist Breyten Breytenbach has been tapped as one of three judges for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Organizers of the prestigious annual poetry honour announced judges for the upcoming edition on Wednesday.

Celebrated writer Breytenbach established the anti-apartheid group Okhela during his exile in Paris in the 1960s — he was unable to return to his country because he had married a French Vietnamese woman, illegal under South African morality laws. He served a seven-year prison sentence when he returned home in the mid-1970s. The award-winning writer is considered one of South Africa’s finest living poets.

TORONTO – November 7, 2012 – The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry are pleased to announce that Breyten Breytenbach (South Africa), Suzanne Buffam (Canada), and Mark Doty (US) are the judges for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Breyten Breytenbach celebrated poet, painter, novelist, playwright, essayist and human rights activist, was born in South Africa in 1939. He established the anti-apartheid resistance group ‘Okhela’ and from 1975–1982 he was a political prisoner, serving two terms of solitary confinement in South African prisons. The recipient of numerous awards, including the APB Prize, the CAN Award, the Alan Paton Award for Literature, the Rapport Prize, the Hertzog Prize, the Reina Prinsen-Geerling Prize, the Van der Hoogt Prize, the Jan Campert Award and the Jacobus van Looy Prize for Literature and Art; he has written and published a vast number of articles, essays, academic dissertations, doctoral theses and books in many languages, ranging from descriptions and analyses of the author and painter as activist, public figure, exile, thinker, and nomad.

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Image courtesy CBC News


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