Dr. Philip Mosley, professor of English and Comparative Literature at Penn State Worthington Scranton, was one of the finalists named to the international shortlist for this year's Griffin Poetry Prize.
Dr. Mosley's translation from the French of The Book of the Snow by Francois Jacqmin was the work for which he was selected. It was one of 450 books of poetry submitted, including 20 translations, from poets in 37 countries.
Two annual awards are given to one Canadian and one international poet who write in the English language. Entries are submitted by publishers and winners receive $65,000, while finalists are awarded $10,000.
As a finalist, Dr. Mosley attended the prize-giving festivities this summer, which were held in Toronto, and had the opportunity to read from his submitted work.
"I was honored to find my work on a shortlist that included the Arabic poet Adonis and the Nobel prizewinner Seamus Heaney," Dr. Mosley said. "The highlight of the Toronto trip was reading to an audience of 1,000 poetry enthusiasts in Koerner Hall of the TELUS Center at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The prize-giving ceremony, which turned into a huge party, was held the following evening in a restored distillery building in the harbor district."
The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most generous and prestigious poetry award. It was founded in 2000 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin, when he also established The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry to raise public awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in society's cultural life and to introduce contemporary collections of poetry to the public.
Mr. Griffin serves as chairman, along with trustees Margaret Atwood, Carolyn Forché, Robert Haas, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Roberson, and David Young.
Dr. Mosley has published other noteworthy translations of Belgian francophone authors, including Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach; The Intelligence of Flowers, along with a related piece, Scents by Maurice Maeterlinck; October Long Sunday by Guy Vaes; and Tea Masters, Teahouses by Werner Lambersy. In 2008 he was awarded the Prix de la Traduction Littéraire by the French Community of Belgium.
He is also known locally for his work as editor of Anthracite! An Anthology of Pennsylvania Coal Region Plays, a collection of six plays about the coal mining industry and the injustices and hardships of regional mining life.