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Jayanta Mahapatra (born October 22, 1928)[2] is one of the best known Indian English poets.[3] He is the first ever Indian poet to win Sahitya Akademi award for English poetry. He is the author of such popular poems as Indian Summer and Hunger, which are regarded as classics in modern Indian English literature. He is also a winner of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in India.[4]

Jayanta Mahapatra
Born Jayant
(1928-10-22) 22 October 1928 (age 89)
Occupation Indian english poets
Years active 1970–present
Parent(s) Lemuel Mohapatra, Sudhansubala Dash[1]
Awards Sahitya Akademi, Padma Shri

Jayanta returned his Padma Shri to protest against the rising intolerance in India.He is one of the great writers in india.[5]


Indian Poets TrioEdit

Besides being one of the popular Indian poets of his generation, Mahapatra was also part of the trio of poets who laid the foundations of Indian English Poetry. He shared a special bond with A. K. Ramanujan, one of the finest poets in the IEP tradition. Mahapatra is also different in not being a product of the Bombay school of poets besides R. Parthasarathy. Over time, he has managed to carve a quiet, tranquil poetic voice of his own—distinctly different from those of his contemporaries. His wordy lyricism combined with Indian themes put him in a league of his own. {Needs Citation} In a Conversation with Jaydeep Sarangi (link : ) Mahapatra says, "Meeting with A D Hope, especially in his warm home in Canberra, and with his charming wife, Penelope, is an unforgettable happening in my life. The man's humility was amazing, it humbled me. It was a lesson. I wrote a sort of editorial piece on him in the magazine I was editing—Chandrabhaga, and I'd like you to read what I had said. This appeared in the journal in 1979."


All his working life, he taught physics at various colleges in Odisha including Gangadhar Meher College, Sambalpur, B.J.B College, Bhubaneswar, Fakir Mohan College, Balasore and Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. He retired in 1986.[6]

Mahapatra has authored 27 books of poems, of which seven are in Oriya and the rest in English. His poetry volumes include Relationship, Bare Face and Shadow Space. Mahapatra is a Sahitya Akademi awardee, and also a recipient of the Jacob Glatstein memorial award conferred by Poetry magazine, Chicago. He was also awarded the Allen Tate Poetry Prize for 2009 from The Sewanee Review, Sewanee, USA. He received the SAARC Literary Award, New Delhi, 2009. Besides poetry, he has experimented widely with myriad forms of prose. His published books of prose are Green Gardener, an anthology of short stories and Door of Paper: Essay and Memoirs. Mahapatra is also a distinguished editor and has been bringing out, for many years, a literary magazine, Chandrabhaga, from Cuttack. The magazine is named after Chandrabhaga, a prominent river in Orissa. His poems appeared in many prestigious poetry anthologies like The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India,[7] published by Hidden Brook Press,[8] Canada.

He began writing poems when he was in the age of 40. The publication of his first book of poems, Svayamvara and Other Poems, in 1971 was followed by the publication of Close The Sky Ten By Ten. One of Mahapatra's better remembered works is the long poem Relationship, for which he was the first Indian English poet to win the Sahitya Akademi award in 1981.

He was conferred the Padma Shri in 2009 by the president of India and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Ravenshaw University on 2 May 2009. He was also awarded Litt. D. degree by Utkal University in 2006.

Poetry ReadingsEdit

Outside India
  • University of Iowa, Iowa City, 1976
  • University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, 1976
  • University of the South, Sewanee, 1976
  • East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1976
  • Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide, 1978
  • P.E.N. Centre, Sydney, 1978
  • Australian National University, Canberra, 1978
  • International Poets Conference, Tokyo, 1980
  • Asian Poets Conference, Tokyo, 1984

Books by Jayanta MahapatraEdit

  • 1971: Close the Sky Ten by Ten, Calcutta: Dialogue Publications[9]
  • 1971: Svayamvara and Other Poems, Calcutta: Writers Workshop[9]
  • 1976: A Father's Hours, Delhi: United Writers[9]
  • 1976: A Rain of Rites, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press[9]
  • 1979: Waiting, Samkaleen Prakashan[9]
  • 1980: The False Start, Bombay: Clearing House[9]
  • 1980: Relationship, Greenfield, New York: Greenfield Review Press[9]


  • 1997: The Green Gardener, short stories, Hyderabad: Orient Longman[9]
  • 2006: Door of Paper: Essay and Memoirs, New Delhi: Authrospress[9]
  • 2011: Bhor Moitra Kanaphula. In Oriya. Bhubaneswar, Paschima[9]

Poetry in Oriya

  • 1993: Bali (The Victim), Cutack: Vidyapuri[9]
  • 1995: Kahibe Gotiye Katha (I'll Tell A Story), Arya Prakashan[9]
  • 1997: Baya Raja(The Mad Emperor), Cuttack: Vidyapuri[9]
  • 2004: Tikie Chhayee (A Little Shadow), Cuttack; Vidyapuri[9]
  • 2006: Chali (Walking), Cuttack: Vidyapuri[9]
  • 2008: Jadiba Gapatie (Even If It's A Story), Cuttack: Friends Publishers[9]
  • 2011: Smruti Pari Kichhiti (A Small Memory), Cuttack: Bijayini[9]

Critical studiesEdit

  • The Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra: Themes & Imagery by Vivekanand Jha, New Delhi: Authorspress, ISBN 978-8172736736[10]
  • 2001: Bijay Kumar Das, The Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra: 3rd revised and enlarged edition; New Delhi: Atlantic, ISBN 81-7156-968-4[11]
  • 2006: Jaydeep Sarangi and Gauri Shankar Jha (eds), The Indian Imagination of Jayanta Mahapatra, New Delhi: Sarup and Sons, 2006, ISBN 81-7625-622-6, a compilation of critical articles.[12]
  • Jaydeep Sarangi, Jayanta Mahapatra Joy of Living and Loving in His Poetry, Aavishkar Publishers' Distributors, 2012, ISBN 8179103749. Printed INR: 600.00, hardcover, 162 pp.
  • Zinia Mitra, "Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra Imagery and Experiential Identity",Authorspress,2012,ISBN 978-81-7273-655-2 Hardcover,INR:500,172pp
  • Shiba Shankar Nath,"The Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra:A Study in Imagery",Delhi:Authorspress,2014,ISBN 978-81-7273-897-6.Printed INR: 700.00,hardcover,173 pp.


  • Kanhaiya Lal Sethia Award for Poetry - 2017 (Jaipur Literature Festival)[13]
  • RL Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award for Poetry, 2013, Hyderabad.
  • Second Prize – International Who's Who in Poetry, London, 1970.
  • Jacob Glatstein Memorial Award – Poetry, Chicago, 1975.
  • Visiting Writer – International Writing Program, Iowa City 1976–77.
  • Cultural Award Visitor, Australia, 1978.
  • Japan Foundation – Visitor's Award, Japan, 1980.

See alsoEdit

Rock Pebbles, Vol. XV No.1, January–June 2011(a special issue on Jayanta Mahapatra) ISSN 0975-0509


  1. ^ (Bhubaneswar). Sambad. 24 October 2017 Retrieved 24 October 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Jayanta Mahapatra". Poem hunter. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Sahitya Akademi : Who's Who of Indian Writers". Sahitya Akademi. Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Noted poet Jayanta Mahapatra returns Padma Shri - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007.  Web page titled "Jayanta Mahapatra's Profile" at the Muse India Web site, accessed 16 October 2007
  7. ^ Grove, Richard. "The Dance of the Peacock:An Anthology of English Poetry from India" (current). Hidden Brook Press, Canada. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Press, Hidden Brook. "Hidden Brook Press". Hidden Brook Press. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Bibliography in Land by Jayanta Mahapatra. Authorspress 2013
  10. ^ Jha, Vivekanand. The Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra: Themes and Imagery (First ed.). New Delhi: Authorspress. p. 434. ISBN 9788172736736. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Vedam's Books from India website, accessed 16 October 2007.
  12. ^ Vedam's Books from India website, accessed 16 October 2007.
  13. ^

External linksEdit