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Indian Poets Writing In Malayalam
Ayyappa Paniker, O N V Kurup, Attoor Ravi Varma, Sugatha Kumari, Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan, K. Satchidanandan and others

Ayyappa Paniker (b. 1930) --- Modernism emerged visibly in Malayalam only in the 1960s.In Malayalam it was the upshot of a struggle on two fronts: it left aside the clich├ęs of romantic poetry while it also fought the simplifications of "the so-called progressive poetry that revelled in rhetoric and mechanically reproduced the known truth of politics". Modernism in its true connotation became manifest only with poets like Ayyappa Paniker, N.N. Kakkad (1927-87) and Attoor Ravivarma (b. 1931), who had a decisive influence on succeeding generations. The landmark publication was Ayyappa Paniker's long poem Kuruskhetra (1961). With its resonances of The Waste Land and The Bhagavat Gita, this long poem gathers together varied strands of Indian modernity: the East and the West merge in this era of late-capitalism; poverty lingers; revolution has failed; no certainties are left to offer us solace, not even the old tribal rhythms because our modernity has disturbed them. The focus was on style :  striving to evolve an idiom that would best express the experience of modernity that in India co-existed with tradition. This explains the re-interpretation of myths and the re-deployment of archetypes. Ayyappa Paniker was born in Kuttanad, in the village of Kavalam, Kerala. He studied in University College, Trivandrum.  In 1971 he acquired AM and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University, U.S. His doctoral dissertation was on the poetry of Robert Lowell. In 1981-82 he did Postdoctoral Research in Yale University and Harvard University. Ayyappa Paniker has been closely associated with the Kumaran Asan Memorial Committee, Thonnakkal, the Authors Guild of India, the All India English Teachers Association, the Comparative Literature Society, the C.V. Raman Pillai Foundation and the Swathi Thirunal Sangeetha Sabha. Ayyappa Paniker's Kurukshethram, composed during 1951-57 and published only in 1960, ushered in a new voice in modern Malayalam Poetry. Among his publications are Ayyappapanikerude Kritikal, Vol-1, 1951-65, 1974, Ayyappapanikerude Kritikal, Vol-2, 1969-1981, 1982, Ayyappapanikerude Kritikal, Vol-3, 1981-1989, 1989, Ayyappapanikerude Kritikal, Vol-4, 1990-99, Ayyappapanikerude Teranjedutha Kavitakal, 1990, Cartoon Kavitakalum Maharaja Kathakalum, 1981, Ezhu Kavitakal, Padhanangalum, 1983, Gotrayanam, 1989, Pookkathirikkan enikkavatille, 1999, Panineerpoovu, 1947, Pathukavitakal- Padhanangalum, 1989, Teranjedutha Kavitakal, 2000. He is the recipient of Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for Poetry and Criticism,1975 and 1984, Kalyani Krishna Menon Prize,1977, S P C S award. 1978, Sahitya Akademi award,1984, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Bhilwara award for Poetry,1988, Mahakavi Kuttamath award for Poetry,1990, Mahakavi Ulloor award for Poetry, 1990, Kerala Cultural Centre (Muscat) Literary award, 1992, C B Kumar Endowment Prize, 1992, Samastha Kerala Sahitya Parishath award for Poetry, 1993, Kabir Samman, 1996-97, Indira Gandhi Memorial Fellowship, 1997, Gangadhar Meher National award for Poetry, 1998, Asan Prize(Chennai), 1999, Viswadeepam award, 1999, Vayalar award, 2002, Vallathol award for 2004, Padmashree, 2004 and Saraswati Samman for 2005. He lives in 'Sarovaram', Gandhi Nagar, Vazhuthakkad, Trivandrum.

O N V Kurup (b. 1931) --- O N V Kurup was born in Chavara , a coastal village in Kerala.  He spent his childhood in an environment where a peaceful agrarian culture was in constant confrontation with industrialisation.  His first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946. His works of poetry (Malayalam) include  Dahikunna Panapatram, Marubhumi, Nilakkannukal MayilppiliOru Tulli VelichamAgni SalabhangalAksaramKarutta pakshiyude pattu, Uppu, Bhumikku Oru Charamagitam, SarngakappakshikalMrgaya, Tonniaksharangal, AparahnamUjjayini, Veruthe, Swayamvaram, Bhairavante Thudi, Oyenviyude Ganangal (Collection of 1500 songs) and Valappottukal (childrens poems). He has also authored several works of prose.  Kurup represented India in the Struga Poetry Festival, Yugoslavia (1987). He held the office of Chairman, Kerala Kalamandalam (the State Akademi of Classical performing Arts) in 1996.  He received the State Akademi award (1972) for Agnishalabhangal (poetry) and Sahitya Akademi award (1975) for Aksharam (Poetry). He became the Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Academy in 1999.

Attoor Ravi Varma (b. 1931) --- Attoor Ravi Varma has published several publications. He has received Kerala Sahitya Akademi award (1996) for his book, Attoor Ravivarmmayude (poetry), Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize and Sahitya Akademi award (2001) for his work, Attoor Ravi Varmayute Kavitakal (Poetry).

Sugatha Kumari (b. 1934) --- B. Sugatha Kumari was born in Trivandrum. She obtained a Master's degree in Philosophy from Kerala University. She was in academic profession and held the office of Principal, Jawaharlal Bal Bhavan, Trivandrum. Among her works of poetry are Muthuchippi, Svapnabhumi, Patirapukal, Pavam Manava Hridayam, Ratrimazha  and Ambalamani. She is the recipient of several awards including Kerala Sahitya Akademi award (1967), Sahitya Pravarthaka award (1978), Odakkuzhal award (1982) and Sahitya Akademi award (1978).

Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan (b. 1935) --- Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan was born  in Kadammanitta province of the present Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. His childhood experiences, especially the Patayani songs, imparted strong influence in his literary work. During his college days, he was involved with the student federation as well as the Communist party. In 1992 he became the Vice President of Purogamana Sahitya Sangham (Vangaurd of Progressive Literature). In 1996, he was elected to Kerala State Legislative Assembly from Aranmula constituency in Pathanamthitta district. He was awarded Kerala Sahithya Academy award in 1982.

Vishnunarayanan Namboodiri (b. 1939) --- Vishnunarayanan Namboodiri was born in Cheeravally Illam in Thiruvalla. He acquired a Master's degree in English. He served as a teacher of English in Kozhikode, Kollam, Pattambi, Ernakulam, Tripunithura, Chittoor and Thiruvananthapuram and also worked in State Institute of Languages. Among his poetic works are: Swaathanthryathe-kurichu Oru Geetham, Aparaajitha, Aaranyakam, India Enna Vikaram, Ujjayiniyile Raappakalukal, Bhoomigeethangal, Mukhameite ? and Athirthiyilekkoru Yaathra. In addition, he has authored collections of essays, Asaahitheeyam and Kavithayude DNA, and works of translations. He received the Kerala Academy Award, Odakkuzhal Award and the Changampuzha Award.

K. Satchidanandan (b. 1946) --- K. Satchidanandan was born in Pullut in Thrissur district in Kerala. He did his Masters in English from the University of Kerala and his doctorate in post-structuralist literary theory from the University of Calicut. He was engaged in teaching English at a College in Kerala.  He worked in the Sahitya Akademi as Editor, Indian Literature (1992-96) and Secretary of the Akademi (1996-2006). He has published nineteen collections of poetry since his first book, Anchu Sooryan in 1970. He has four collections of poetry in English translation and has translated a large number of poets into Malayalam. He has received Oman Cultural Centre award and Kerala Sahitya Akademi award four times (for poetry, drama, travel writing and criticism), among numerous honours and fellowships.

Savithri Rajeevan (b. 1956)--- Savithri Rajeevan was born in Veettikkat Mana, Pattambi, Palakkad district of Kerala. She has published several collections of poems including Cherivu (The Slant) and Dehaantharam. She has received Kunchuppilla Smaaraka Award for poetry, 1990 Udaya Bharati National Award for poetry, 1994. She is also an art critic.

Balachandran Chullikkad (b. 1957) --- Balachandran Chullikkad was born in Paravoor in Ernakulam district of Kerala. He graduated from Maharajas College, Ernakulam. He accepted Buddhism in1999. His collections of poems include Pathinettu Kavithakal,1980, Amavasi (Moonless Night), 1982, Gazal, 1987, Manasandaram (Change of Mind),1994, Dracula,1998 and Balachandran Chullikkadinte Kavithakal (Complete Poems of Balachandran), 2000. Blachandran was offered Sanskrithi National Award for the best young writer in India in 1990, but he refused it and declared that he would never accept awards.

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