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The sixteenth edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival is all set to run from 19th – 23rd January at Hotel Clarks Amer, Jaipur. As every year, the Festival will recognise a poet of repute with the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry. Given in association with the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Foundation, the award is a tribute to Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia and his immense repertoire. In addition to a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, the winner receives a memento of appreciation along with a felicitation at the Festival.
The first Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry for the year 2016 was presented to the eminent poet Rituraj. In the year 2017, this award was given to the legendary odia poet Jayanta Mahapatra. In 2018, Tamil author and poet Rajathi Salma was given this prestigious award and in 2019, this award was given to the renowned contemporary Punjabi poet, writer and translator Surjit Patar. The award in 2020 was given to the Indian poet, anthologist, literary critic and translator Arvind Krishna Mehrotra for his contribution to the world of poetry. In the year 2021, this award was presented to Sahitya Akademi Award recipient, poet and novelist Anamika and in 2022 the award was given to poet and translator Ranjit Hoskote.
Following a unanimous decision by the jury committee, the winner for the eighth Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Poetry Award is the pioneering modern Indian poet, critic, editor, translator, and academic. K. Satchidanandan. A former Secretary of the Sahitya Akademi, Satchidanandan has authored twenty-one collections of poetry, sixteen books of translations of world poetry and twenty-one works of literary criticism in Malayalam and English besides plays and travelogues. He has won twenty-five awards for his literary contribution from diverse institutions in India and abroad and is a Fellow of the Kerala Academy of Literature. Representative collections of his poetry have appeared in eighteen languages. His work has appeared in anthologies of poetry in several countries across the world from the USA to Australia.
The award is given out after a careful selection process by an eminent jury comprising renowned, discerning litterateurs and experts, namely eminent poets and former winners of the award Anamika and Ranjit Hoskote; writer, Festival Co-Director & Founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale; Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, and Festival Producer Sanjoy K. Roy; and Siddharth Sethia of the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Foundation.
Talking about the awardee, Sahitya Akademi Award recipient, poet and novelist, Anamika, said, “K. Satchidanandan is one of those luminous beings who can peep into the heart of things and strike a poetic dialogue with the mutest of all. His control of diction is that of a pianist on the keyboard, he can play on all kinds of silences with elegance and grace.”
Ranjit Hoskote, poet and translator, said, “It is a matter of great joy that K Satchidanandan has been honoured with the Jaipur Literature Festival Mahakavi Kanhaiya Lal Sethia Award this year. The award recognises his magisterial oeuvre as a poet active both in Malayalam and English, and as a translator of refined sensibility. In his various roles as a poet, critic, editor and cultural administrator, Satchidanandan has made key contributions to modern Indian literature. With his deep and wide interests in the other arts and in the humanities – in painting, music, archaeology, and cinema – Satchidanandan is a contributor both to the literary world and to India’s evolving and dynamic cultural scene at large.”
Namita Gokhale, writer, Festival Co-Director & Founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “K. Satchidanandan is an inspirational poet whose writing and philosophy has impacted literary circles across the Indian languages. His multilingual creativity and humanitarian sensibilities have won him wide appreciation.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “We are delighted to present the 8th Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry, recognising an extraordinary body of work by a pioneering poet. This year, as we celebrate the power of literature, all our nominees have showcased their brilliance and artistry with words, creating magic and transporting us to a different realm. Our award-winner for 2023 is the celebrated poet, critic, editor, translator, academic and thinker, K. Satchidanandan.”
Siddharth Sethia, Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Foundation, said, “Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Poetry award in association with the Jaipur Literature Festival is a platform which brings the versatility of Indian poetry to a global audience.”