No Borders For Me (Travel Poems)
Satchidanandan’s travel poems are the most profound work the poet has penned until now. Not only deep, but they are also as capacious as the river Mahanadi that sustains the fishermen for centuries. These poems are not only earnest; they find insipid mourning to be the root cause of our washed-out lives. History and evolution bewilder the poet as he writes: “A deer trapped in this minar / stretched its neck to become a giraffe: / this was not how evolution began.” The travel poems are high on cognizance: “We held out our hands for land; / they hurled us into blood. // We are ever on vigil; / we see the invisible.” The poet’s unrest never fails to interrogate: “When will our womenfolk who / daily endure labor pangs / finally deliver children free from / the marks of whips and chains?” No Borders For Me is an imperative book for age and the future.
|Dimensions||8.5 × 5.5 × 1.3 in|
5 March, 2021
K. Satchidanandan belongs to the whole world since he sets before us wisdom and humour and the shock of surprise. — Alan Titley
Satchidanandan’s poetry, if his recent poems are any indication, has reached a stage where aesthetics and ethics interpenetrate each other to produce deftly crafted articulations of history’s endless rage. — Biblio
K.Satchidanandan (born on 28 May 1946) is an Indian poet, essayist, playwright, travel-writer and translator writing in Malayalam, the language of Kerala and a bilingual (Malayalam and English) critic and editor. He has been Professor of English at Christ College, University of Calicut, Kerala, editor of Indian Literature, the journal of the Sahitya Akademi (The National Academy of Letters) and later the Chief Executive of the Akademi. He then worked as a Language Policy Consultant for the Government of India and has been associated as editor with Katha, Delhi and the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature. He edits the poetry quarterly Kerala Kavita in Malayalam and has edited a series of selections of poems by distinguished Malayalam poets and a series of translations from South Asian literature, The South Asian Library of Literature in English besides several collections of poetry and essays including Words Matter, an anthology of dissent published by Penguin India. He retired in 2011 as Director and Professor, School of Translation Studies and Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. He was also on the Project Advisory Board of Indian Literature Abroad, and the National Executive of the National Translation Mission and has been on the Executive Board of Sahitya Akademi besides being on the academic/governing bodies of JNU, (Delhi), Ambedkar University (Delhi), Malayalam University (Kerala) and has been on the PhD board of four universities. Until recently he was a National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and is a Distinguished Member, Loka Kerala Sabha, Member, Kerala State Higher Education Board and Co-Chairman for Art and Literature, Kerala State Planning Board. He is also the Director of the Kerala Literature Festival.
Satchidanandan has 27 collections of poetry in Malayalam, 16 collections of world poetry in translation, four plays, three books of travel and 23 collections of critical essays and interviews besides five collections of essays in English. He has edited several anthologies of poetry and prose in Malayalam, English and Hindi. He has 33 collections of his poems in translation in 18 languages, including seven collections in English, the chief of them being While I Write (HarperCollins), Misplaced Objects and Other Poems (Sahitya Akademi), The Missing Rib and Not Only the Oceans (Poetrywala), eight in Hindi, four in Tamil, two in Kannada, two in Oriya, two in Assamese, two in Marathi and one each in Irish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Bengali, Telugu and Gujarati. He has won 52 awards and honours for his literary contribution including Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, Gangadhar Meher Award and Kavisamrat Upendra Bhanja Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (5 times, for different genres), Kumaran Asan Award, Bapureddy National Award, N T Rama Rao National Award, Kuvempu National Award, Kusumagraj National Award, Kerala Varma Award, Ulloor Award, P. Kunhiraman Nair Award (twice), Odakkuzhal Award, Vayalar Award, SBT Suvarna Mudra, Padmaprabha Puraskaram, V. Aravindakshan Award, Kavyotsav Award, Hariyorma Award, Kesari Nayanar Award, first Kamala Surayya Memorial award, Navamalayali Award, Kerala SSF award and Ezhuthachan Award, the topmost award for any writer in Kerala, Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan Award, Baharain Keraleeya Samajam Award, Oman Kerala Cultural Centre Award, Kamala Surayya Award, UA Exchange Award, Sahitya Akademi Award for Malayalam, Kala award for total contribution from London, and Poetry for Peace Award from the Govt. of UAE. He has also won Green India Excellence Award for environmental writing besides Sahityasree from the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Delhi, Senior Fellowship from the Department of Culture, Government of India, Sreekant Verma Fellowship from the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the K.K.Birla Fellowship for Comparative Literature. He is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Many of his books of poetry and criticism have been textbooks in Universities and there are several PhDs on his poetry. A film on him, Summer Rain was released in 2007. His name was in the Ladbroke list of the first ten probable winners of the Nobel Prize in 2011.
Satchidanandan has represented India in several international literary events like the international literary festivals in Sarajevo, Berlin, Montreal, Beijing, Moscow, Ivry-sur Seine, Rotterdam, Jaipur, Delhi, Hay Festival-Trivandrum, Medellin International Poetry Festival in Colombia, Struga Poetry Evenings in N. Macedonia, and book fairs at Delhi, Lahore, Kolkata, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Leipzig, London, Paris and Moscow. He has also read and talked at Bonn, Rome, Verona, Ravenna, Leiden, NewYork, St.Petersburg, Damascus, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Sharjah, Singapore, Beijing, Shang Hai, Hang Zhou, Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Johannesburg, Skopje, Perth etc. besides most of the cities in India. Satchidanandan has been honoured with Knighthood of the Order of Merit by the Government of Italy, with the Dante Medal by the Dante Institute, Ravenna and the India-Poland Friendship Medal by the Government of Poland. He has also been an activist for secularism, environment and human rights.