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K. Satchidanandan to get 8th Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry at Jaipur Literature Festival 2023

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  • Post last modified:January 16, 2023
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The sixteenth edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival is all set to run from 19 th – 23 rd January at Hotel Clarks Amer, Jaipur. As every year, the Festival will recognise a poet of reput 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.”

For media enquiries on the Jaipur Literature Festival, please contact Edelman India and Teamwork Arts: and

About Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry:
Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia was an internationally acclaimed poet, freedom fighter, social reformer, philanthropist, and environmentalist who received the Padma Shri award in 2004 and Rajasthan Ratna in 2012. Sethia Ji authored 42 books in Hindi, Urdu, and Rajasthani, which have been translated into English, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, and German. He was selected as a ‘Living Legend of the 20th Century’ on the occasion of the bi-centenary celebration of the US Library of Congress in Washington. He was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his work Lilatamsa and the Jnanapitha Moortidevi Award in 1986.

About Jaipur Literature Festival:
Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous
feast of ideas.

The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted over
5,000 speakers and artists and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the

Our core values remain unchanged: to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free
and fair access.

Every year, the Festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.

Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producer Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day programme set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage.

Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J. M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Yunus and Joseph Stiglitz; Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Douglas Stuart, Margaret Atwood and Paul Beatty; Sahitya Akademi winners Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, as well as the late Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and U. R. Ananthamurthy; along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Bill Gates, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty and former president of Afghanistan,
Hamid Karzai.

The Jaipur Literature Festival is a flagship event of Teamwork Arts, which produces it along with over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities globally.


About Teamwork Arts:
Teamwork Arts is a highly versatile production company with roots in the performing arts, social action and the corporate world. For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers, change makers and visual artistes in the knowledge and arts space in India and abroad. Every year, we produce over 33 festivals in 42 cities and 17 countries in the fields of performing & visual arts and literature. We produce the world’s largest literary gathering: the annual Jaipur
Literature Festival; JLF international now travels to the US, UK, Canada, Australia and the Maldives and soon in Europe.

Even amidst the upheaval and unsettling times of 2020 and through 2021, Teamwork Arts successfully launched the digital series, ‘JLF Brave New World’ and ‘Words Are Bridges’, which were viewed by over 4.8 million people in their first season. Through its digital avatar, the Jaipur Literature Festival reached over 27 million viewers in January 2021. Our initiative ‘Art Matters’ empowers artistes across India to collaborate across genres by commissioning them to create new works thereby effecting change & raising awareness. The digital series ‘Be Inspired’ was launched in 2021 – a series that crystal-gazes into the future with conversations on science,
technology, innovation, environment and more.


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