Poetry is one of literature’s most effective and powerful art forms. Every year, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival celebrates this and recognises the best among India’s plethora of young and talented poets by announcing the MahakaviKanhaiyalalSethia Award for Poetry.
In association with the MahakaviKanhaiyalalSethia Foundation, the award is a tribute to Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia and his immense repertoire. The winner receives an opportunity to share the stage with literary heavyweights at the Festival and also receives a cash prize.
MahakaviKanhaiyalalSethia was a renowned Rajasthani and Hindi poet. The internationally acclaimed writer authored a total of 42 books in Hindi, Urdu and Rajasthani. He was a Freedom fighter, social reformer, educationist and environmentalist who received the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Rajasthan Ratna in 2012. 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.
Rajathi Salma, a well-known name to readers of contemporary Tamil literature, will be felicitated at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 at Diggi Palace on the 27th of January at 4:30 pm, as the fourth winner of the award.
Salma has made her mark as a distinctive literary voice, and has to her credit, two volumes of poetry, a short story anthology and two novels, several of which have been translated to other languages as well. Lakshmi Holmstrom’s English translation of her novel, entitled The Hour Past Midnight, was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Asian DSC Award.
Salma has been the recipient of several awards and honours before, and has also been a special invitee to several book festivals and seminars. She was the only representative of Tamil literature when the University of Chicago organized a two-day seminar, as part of the annual Norman J. Cutler Conference, to discuss her literary works. Salma has been a committed public servant and was the elected President of the Ponnampatti Town Panchayat between 2001-2006 as well as Chairperson of the Social Welfare Board, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
The MahakaviKanhaiyalalSethia Award is given out after a careful selection process by an eminent jury comprising renowned litterateurs and discerning art aficionados like Namita Gokhale, Sanjoy K. Roy, Sukrita Paul, Sudeep Sen, and Jaiprakash Sethia.