Renowned Indian English/Odia Poet Jayanta Mahapatra Passes Away at the Age of 95

Jayanta Mahapatra news

In a poignant moment for the literary world, Jayanta Mahapatra, a distinguished figure among India’s most celebrated English poets, has breathed his last at the age of 95. With a prolific career spanning over five decades, Mahapatra has left a profound legacy that has indelibly shaped the landscape of Indian English poetry.

On August 27, 2023, a day that will always be remembered, a beloved Indian poet left us. Jayanta Mahapatra passed away after battling pneumonia at the age of 95. He spent his last few days undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College (Srirama Chandra Bhanja) in Cuttack. Let’s pause for a moment and honor his amazing career.

Early Life and Learning

Jayanta Mahapatra was born on October 22, 1928, in Cuttack, Odisha, India. He went to Ravenshaw College in Cuttack for his education, then ventured to the University of Delhi for further studies.

Education to Work

Following his academic pursuits, Mahapatra took on the roles of both a teacher and a journalist. He started his professional life by teaching physics. But Destiny had something different planned for him beyond just numbers and equations.

Falling in Love with Poetry

In his late 30s, something unexpected happened. Mahapatra fell in love with English poetry. This led to a big change in his life. As a physics teacher by profession, his heart found resonance in the rhythm of words and the magic of verses.

jayanta mahapatra books

Becoming a Poet

In 1971, Mahapatra published his first collection of poems called “Swayamvara and Other Poems.” This was the start of his special journey. He left a mark on the world of literature that would never fade. Once he started, there was no going back.

Gaining Recognition

Mr. Mahapatra’s poems gained immense popularity. People who read and reviewed poems noticed his talent. His work was more than words; it was a deep look into feelings and life. One of his famous publications, “Close the Sky Ten by Ten,” made him a renowned figure in the industry.

From a physics teacher to a revered poet, Jayanta Mahapatra’s evolution exemplified the transformative power of passion. His journey from classrooms to verses stands as a testament to the unpredictability of life’s creative currents. Through his words, he continues to resonate with generations, proving that the heart’s calling can lead to the most remarkable odyssey.

Jayanta Mahapatra Books: Prose and Poetries

Jayanta Mahapatra
YearTitlePublisher
1971Close the Sky Ten by TenCalcutta: Dialogue Publications
Svayamvara and Other PoemsCalcutta: Writers Workshop
1976A Father’s HoursDelhi: United Writers
A Rain of RitesGeorgia: University of Georgia Press
1979WaitingPune: Samkaleen Prakashan
1980The False StartBombay: Clearing House
RelationshipNew York: Greenfield Review Press
2017Collected PoemsMumbai: Paperwall Publishing
1997The Green Gardener (Short Stories)Hyderabad: Orient Longman
2006Door of Paper: Essay and MemoirsNew Delhi: Authorspress
2011Bhor Moitra Kanaphula (Odia)Bhubaneswar: Paschima Publications
1993Bali (The Victim)Cuttack: Vidyapuri
1995Kahibe Gotiye Katha (I’ll Tell A Story)Arya Prakashan
1997Baya Raja (The Mad Emperor)Cuttack: Vidyapuri
2004Tikie Chhayee (A Little Shadow)Cuttack: Vidyapuri
2006Chali (Walking)Cuttack: Vidyapuri
2008Jadiba Gapatie (Even If It’s A Story)Cuttack: Friends Publishers
2011Smruti Pari Kichhiti (A Small Memory)Cuttack: Bijayini
1973Countermeasures: PoemsCalcutta: Dialogue
1976Wings of the Past: PoemsCalcutta: Rajasree
1981Song of Kubja and Other PoemsNew Delhi: Samkaleen
1994I Can, But Why Should I Go: PoemsNew Delhi: Sahitya Akademi
1996Verticals of Life: PoemsNew Delhi: Sahitya Akademi
1998Tapaswini: a PoemBhubaneswar: Odisha Sahitya Akademi
2001Discovery and other PoemsKolkata: Writers Workshop
2003A Time of Rising (Poems)New Delhi: Har-Anand Publishers

Awards and Recognition

YearAwardRecognition
1981Sahitya Akademi Award (for “Relationships”)First English-language writer to win Sahitya Akademi Award
2009Jacob Glatstein Memorial AwardConferred by Poetry magazine, Chicago
2009Allen Tate Poetry Prize (The Sewanee
Review)
2009SAARC Literary Award, New Delhi
Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement
Award
2009Padma ShriAwarded by the Indian Government in recognition of his contributions
to literature and poetry
2009Honorary Doctorate (Ravenshaw University)Conferred on 2 May 2009
2006Honorary D. Lit. (Utkal University)Awarded in 2006
2019Fellow of the Sahitya AkademiFirst Indian English poet to achieve this hono

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