Keith Bosley

Keith Anthony Bosley (16 September 1937 – 24 June 2018) was a British poet and translator.[1][2]

Bosley was born in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, and grew up in Maidenhead, Berkshire. He was educated at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow (1949 – 1956) and the Universities of Paris, Caen, and Reading (1956 – 1960), where he read French.[1]

In 1961 he began working for the BBC, mainly as an announcer and newsreader on the World Service, but the work for which he perhaps best known is as a poet and translator. In 1978 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translators. In 1980 he became a Corresponding Member of the Finnish Literature Society, and a year later he undertook a Middle East lecture tour for the BBC and the British Council. Other accolades include first prizes in the British Comparative Literature Association's translation competition in 1982 and, in the same year, in the English Goethe Society's translation competition. In 1991 he was made a Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland.[1]

Bosley retired from the BBC in 1993 and lived in Berkshire. In 2001 he was awarded a pension from the Royal Literary Fund, and continued in his role as organist at St Laurence's Church, Upton-cum-Chalvey until 2015. He was married to harpist Satu Salo and had three sons – Ben (from an earlier marriage), Sebastian and Gabriel.[1]

He died in a nursing home in Slough, Berkshire, after a short illness.[1]


  • The Possibility of Angels (1969)
  • And I Dance: for children (1972)
  • Dark Summer (1976)
  • Stations (1979)
  • A Chiltern Hundred (1987)
  • An Upton Hymnal (1999)
  • The Wedding-Guest: selected poems (ed. Owen Lowery and Anthony Rudolf) (2018)[3]
  • Russia's Other Poets (1968)
  • An Idiom of Night: Pierre Jean Jouve (1968)
  • The War Wife: Vietnamese poetry (1972)
  • The Song of Songs (1976)
  • Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic (1977)
  • Mallarmé: The Poems (1977)
  • A Round O: André Frénaud (1977)
  • The Last Temptations: opera by Joonas Kokkonen (1977)
  • Whitsongs: Eino Leino (1978)
  • The Elek Book of Oriental Verse (1979)
  • A Reading of Ashes: Jerzy Ficowski (1981)
  • From the Theorems of Master Jean de La Ceppède (1983)
  • The Kalevala (1989)
  • Luís de Camões: Epic and Lyric (1990)
  • The Kanteletar: selection (1992)
  • The Great Bear: Finno-Ugrian oral poetry (1993)
  • Odes: Aleksis Kivi (1994)
  • A Centenary Pessoa (1995)
  • Rome the Sorceress: André Frénaud (1995)
  • Eve Blossom Has Wheels: German love poetry (1997)
  • Skating on the Sea: poetry from Finland (1997)
  • The Kalevala (2013) – an audio recording of the 1989 translation

Bosley's other works include contributions to numerous journals in the UK, France, Finland and the US, and authorship of hundreds of radio scripts including The Poetry of Europe (nine 30-minute programmes, 1981) and The Kalevala (fifteen 15-minute programmes, 1992).


  1. ^ a b c d e Rudolf, Anthony (8 October 2018). "Keith Bosley In Memoriam". The Fortnightly Review. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  2. ^ Ilomäki, Henni (24 March 2019). "Keith Anthony Bosley (1937–2018) In Memoriam". Taylor and Francis Online. doi:10.1080/0015587X.2018.1554376. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Scarano, Carla (7 June 2018). "The Wedding-Guest – Keith Bosley". London Grip Poetry Review. Retrieved 11 August 2019.

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