On May 19, artist and writer Etel Adnan was announced as the international winner of the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize for her collection of poems in Time (2019), sharing the prize and cash reward of CAD 65,000 (USD 46,440) with author Sarah Riggs who translated her book from French to English, as for Kaie Kellough is the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize Canadian winner for Magnetic Equator (2019), which explores issues of migration and exile. 
Born in Beirut in 1925, Adnan was educated in Lebanon’s French schools before studying philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris. At the age of 30, she moved to the United States for postgraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Harvard University, Boston, later going on to teach at various American universities for several decades. During her time in academia, she began to explore the medium of painting as an alternate form of expression in an attempt to counter the political implications of writing in French, triggered by her emotional connections to the Algerian War of Independence. She is known for her colorful, abstracted landscape paintings, often based on California’s Mount Tamalpais, a recurring motif in her work. 
Adnan’s artworks were exhibited in 2012 at Documenta 13 in Kassel. In 2014, she was named a chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture. That same year, her paintings and tapestries were featured at the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York.  In 2018, an exhibition of her “New Work” was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.