SOA Literary Festival


1st Edition | 2020

Our Speakers

The SOA Literary Festival owes its success to a dedicated team of authors who have poured their passion, creativity, and hard work into making this platform a thriving celebration of literature. These authors, whose names and backgrounds may vary, share a common commitment to the written word and a vision of fostering a vibrant literary community.

A.J.Thomas is an Indian poet writing in English and an acclaimed translator of poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction prose from Malayalam He was the editor of Indian Literature, the bi-monthly English journal of the Sahitya Akademi till 2010. Thomas was influenced by his mother’s love for nature and his inclination towards poetry in his childhood. He spent two years in Bandel, West Bengal when he began to write in English. He came in contact with internationally famous writers like Dominique Lapierre, Sir Angus Wilson, and Salman Rushdie and Indian writers like Pritish Nandy, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, and others while working with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. His interaction with writers like V.Sadasivan, Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan, Satchidanandan, E.V.Ramakrishnan, U.R.Ananthamurthy, and R.Narendra Prasad shaped his growth as a poet and translator. His first translation work which brought him into the limelight was Bhaskar Pattelar and Other Stories, a collection of Paul Zacharia’s stories which he did along with Gita Krishnakutty and the author. His translation of Paul Zacharia’s Salam America won him the Katha Award. Thomas won critical acclaim for his translation of the verse fiction Ujjaini based on the life of Kalidasa by O.N.V. Kurup, the doyen of Malayalam poetry.


 Amandeep Sandhu was born in Rourkela. He has lived in Orissa, Uttrakhand, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. He has a Master’s in English Literature from the University of Hyderabad and is currently settled in New Delhi. He has worked as a farm-hand, woolen-garment seller, shop assistant, tuition master, teacher, journalist with The Economic Times, technical writer with Novell Inc., Oracle Corporation, and now Cadence Design Systems. Literature, for him, is an understanding of the essential human struggle to become complete. He writes to understand himself and his world and to sleep peacefully. Sepia Leaves is his first work of fiction.

Arun Kamal is a leading Hindi poet and essayist based in Patna with six collections of poetry and three representative selections to his credit. He has also published two volumes of essays in literary criticism and a book of interviews. As a translator, he has brought out a selection of contemporary Indian poetry in English under the title Voices. He has also translated Mayakovsky’s autobiography and poems and essays by Vietnam’s To Hu into Hindi. A communist with the Nav Bharat Times, Prabhat Khabar, Sakal (Marathi), and Web Literature World (USA), Kamal has received several awards for his contribution to poetry including the Sahitya Akademi Award for Naye Ilake Mein in 1998 and the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Samagra Krititwa Samman in 2014. Poems and books of Kamal, who has been a teacher in English at Patna University, have also been translated into a number of Indian and foreign languages.

Ashok Kumar Maheshwari is known for his continued effort in the promotion of Hindi in the country. Chairman and Managing Director of Rajkamal Prakashan Private Limited, New Delhi, Maheshwari has published more than 7000 Hindi books and classics over the last 35 years. His publications include books in Hindi written by great personalities including Chandra Sekhar, K.K.Birla, Sushil Kumar Shinde, V.P.Singh, Krishna Sobti, Veerappa Moily, H.S.Raza, Prabhash Joshi, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Kaifi Azmi, Kuldeep Nayar, Girish Karna and Mahashweta Devi. Having promoted great works in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Odia, Gujarati, Assamese, and Maithili in Hindi, his edited Sameeksha Sandarbh (1978-91), Prakashan Samachar (1994-till date) and . (2000-till date). He has also authored several books for children.

 An eminent writer, editor, and translator, Brajendra Tripathi did his M.A. from Gorakhpur University. Winner of the Vishwa Hindi Sebi Sahashrabdi Samman in 2000, Dr. Yashwant Parmar Award of Himachal Pradesh (2007), Sahitya Shiromani Pandit Damodardatt Chaturvedi Award (2012), and Sanskruti Purashkar (2012), he was decorated with the ‘Vidyasagar’ title instituted by the Vikramshila Vishwavidyalay in 2011. Tripathi’s published works included Talash, a collection of poems, Hamare Rashtrapati, a book for children, Sahitya aur Parivesh, a collection of essays, Vikhyuvdh Vartaman and Dhup Baramade, both anthology of poems. He translated Anunay, the anthology of poems in Gujarati by Jayant Pathak into Hindi which was published by the Sahitya Akademi, Param Abichandani’s Sindhi novel into Hindi under the title Aise Bhi and two English novels into Hindi published by Scholastic Publications under the title Sanghamitra and Jahanara. He also edited Mahadevi Burma Abhinandan Smarikar and Pandit Vidya Niwas Mishra Abhinandan Smarikar.

The first Indian woman to receive the Vyas Samman for her novel Aavaan, Chitra Mudgal is hailed as one of the greatest literary works in Hindi. Aavaan, which has received worldwide acclaim, portrays the lives and times during the Trade Union Movement led by Datta Samant when 300,000 workers in the Mumbai Textile Industry went on a year-long strike triggering the collapse of the city’s trademark industry. Aavaan has been unanimously acknowledged as a masterpiece of literary work and a classic in Hindi literature. Mudgal completed her MA in Hindi literature from the SNDT Women’s University and married Awadh Narain Mudgal, former Editor of ‘Sarika’. She was awarded India’s highest literary award, the Sahitya Academi, for her novel Post Box No. 203, Naalasopara. She also received the Indu Sharma International Katha Samman for Aavaan. (137)

An Indian career diplomat, Dnyaneshwar Mulay is an acclaimed author and columnist. Hailing from a remote village in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, he had to struggle to study in his childhood but shone brightly when the opportunities came his way. He cleared the UPSC examination before being selected for the Indian Foreign Service. Mulay, who served in various capacities in Japan, Russia, Mauritius, and Syria, was instrumental in handling business relations between India, Russia, and Japan. He also functioned as the Consul General of India in New York. A regular contributor to a regular column to Loksatta in Marathi titled Badalte Vishwa-Badalta Bharat and to Sakal in a column known as Vishwachi Maze Ghar providing fresh perspectives and insights into various aspects of current global and national challenges and opportunities. He also wrote a column in Marathi Sadhana Weekly titled Nokarshaiche Rang meaning the Colours of Bureaucratic Ink. The writings were subsequently published by Sadhana Weekly as a book which dwelt on the functioning of the bureaucracy in the Indian democracy. Mulay also contributes to the literary page of The Hindu and The Dainik Bhaskar in Hindi. A documentary titled Gypsy, highlighting the life and work of Mulay, was produced by Director Dhananjay Bhawalekar which received the Special Jury Award at the Delhi Short Film Documentary Festival

Author of 9 books of poems, 15 plays, and 3 critical works in Kannada, which are widely discussed, performed, and translated into several Indian languages and into English, Spanish, French, Italian German, Polish, and Turkish. Winner of several best book prizes from Karnataka Literary Akademi for books of poems, translations, and plays. Academic areas of interest include theatre/literary history, Indian theatre, Medieval studies, Comparative Literature, translation, and folklore. Winner of the prestigious Rajyotsava Award from Karnataka State(2006) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from National Theatre Akademi (1997) and Sahitya Akademi(2012) Participated in International Writing Program in School of Letters, University of Iowa, USA (2000). Former Editor, Indian Literature, the journal of National Akademi of Letters. Former Dean, SAA, JNU. Former Director, The Tagore Centre, Berlin, Germany Has traveled, lectured, and read poetry in various countries in Europe, Asia, and Americas. Important English publications include I Keep Vigil of Rudra ( Penguin Classics, 2009), Traditional India Theatre (New Delhi, 2006), Indian Theatre 2000 (edited) (New Delhi, 2011).

Passionate about Dalit issues, Jayant Parmar is an Indian Urdu language poet who has published a number of poetry collections. Born in a poor family, Parmar prepared miniature paintings for a frame maker at a young age but was disillusioned when he found out that the man was using a separate pot for him because he was a Dalit. Parmar taught himself Urdu at the age of 30 after he was drawn towards Urdu poetry while living in a Muslim dominated area of Ahmedabad’s walled city. His poetry collections include Aur (1998), Pencil Aur Doosri Nazmein(2006), Manind (2008), Antaral (2010) and Giacometti Ke Sapne (2016). He was presented the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for Pencil Aur Doosri Nazmein in 2008. His works have been translated into several languages including Kashmiri, Punjabi, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Gujarati, Odia, and Slovenian.

K. R. Meera is an acclaimed Indian author. Her novel Aarachaar (Hangwoman) is widely regarded as one of the best literary works produced in the Malayalam language. It received many awards and accolades including the Kerala and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award (2013), and Vayalar Award (2014). It was also shortlisted for the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 for her short-story, Ave Maria.


Kuldeep Kumar is a Hindi poet and freelance journalist who writes on political issues and culture in Hindi and English. He worked as a journalist with United News of India, The Sunday Observer, Sunday, The Sunday Times of India, and The Pioneer. He also wrote a weekly column for two years for Dubai-based English daily Gulf News. He also reviewed concerts of Hindustani classical music for The Hindu for five years. Presently, he writes a fortnightly column each for The Hindu and Outlook Hindi. He was presented the International Foundation for Fine Arts’ Media Excellency Award for 2011 by ITC Music Forum, Mumbai. A collection of his poems titled Bin Jiya Jeevan was published by Vani Prakashan.

Kumar Anupam is a Hindi poet, painter, art and literary critic, and translator whose works have been widely published and translated into many languages. An Editor (Hindi) with a prestigious literary organization, his first collection of Hindi poems, Barish Mera Ghar Hai was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2012. His poems, critical views on paintings, essays, and comments have been widely published in prominent newspapers, literary magazines, and websites including BBC Hindi over the last two decades. Kumar Anupam’s works included Mahattva: Ramdhari Singh Dinkar: Samar Sesh Hai, an edited book, Kavita Samay-1, a collection of poems with eminent Hindi poet Chandrakant Devtale, Kala Vasudha, commentary on performing arts and Ho-Chi-Minh: Jail Diary, the Hindi translation of Ho-Chi-Minh’s poems. He has been honored with several awards including the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Award (for Hindi literature), Hindi Sewa Vishisht Samman, Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Kavita Puraskar, Meera Mishra Smriti Kavita Puraskar and Vishnu Prabhakar Sahitya Samman. He also writes in the Awadhi language and has edited the Awadhi Granthavali with several notable senior Awadhi writers.

 Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee is an eminent translator who has translated into English the fiction of Mahasweta Devi (Armenian Champak Tree), Sunil Gangopadhyay (The Dreadful Beauty) and Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay (The Ghost of Gosain Bagan). Bhattacharjee, who taught at the Gauhati and Jadavpur Universities, also worked as Secretary, Sahitya Akademi’s Eastern Regional office at Kolkata, Director, National Book Trust, Editor, Indian Literature and Director, K.K. Birla Foundation, New Delhi. During his tenure as Director, NBT, he organized the celebration of the Year of the Book (2001) conducted by the Government of India. His other works include the translation of a short story collection of U.R.Ananthamurthy and a novel by Viswas Patil into Bengali. Recipient of the best translator’s award from IBBY Congress, Bhattacharjee has also edited a collection of stories on displacement from Assam (Barbed Wire Fence) and coedited Best of Indian Literature (1957-2007), published by the Sahitya Akademi. Widely traveled, he has been a regular contributor of articles and reviews in the literary pages of newspapers and journals including The Statesman, The Times of India, and The Book Review. 


Pranjal Dhar is a Hindi poet, media analyst, critique, and translator whose poems have been widely published and translated into several languages. A collection of his Hindi poems, Antim Vidayi Se Turant Pahle (Immediately Before The Last Farewell) was published by the Sahitya Akademi, India, in 2014. His poems, essays, critiques, and comments have been widely published in prominent newspapers, literary magazines, and websites including BBC Hindi. Dhar has written, edited, and translated several books on media and social issues and is a regular contributor to several publications on issues of feminism, media, communication, cinema, literature, etc. His books on media and mass communication include Samkalin Vaishwik Patrakarita Mein Akhbar (2013), Media aur Hamara Samay (2014), and New Media aur Badalta Bharat (2018). He writes in English and the Awadhi language. The awards bestowed on Dhar include Rajasthan Patrika Puraskar (2006), Awadh Bharti Award (2010), Bhartendu Harischandra Award (2010), Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Kavita Puraskar (2013), Hari Krishna Trivedi Smriti Patrakarita Protsahan Puraskar (2016) and Meera Mishra Smriti Kavita Pursaskar (2017).


 A translator par excellence, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Mishra has published 84 books translated into Hindi from Odia. He received the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for translation in 1998 for translating the works of Jnanpith Award winner Odia poet Dr. Sitakanta Mohapatra. Dr. Mishra, who is the former Registrar of the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha, General Manager (Raj Bhasa), Associate Professor (Hindi Translation) in JNU. He has also served as Secretary General at the World Hindi Secretariat, Mauritius between 2008 and 2011. A Master of Arts in Hindi literature from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, he did his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the same university. He has also been honored with the World Hindi Samman, Johannesburg, and Pravasi Odia Samman, Bhubaneswar. Dr. Mishra participated and presented papers at the 6 World Hindi th Conference at London in 1999, 8 World Hindi Conference at New York in 2007, 9th World Hindi Conference at Johannesburg in 2012, and 10th World Hindi Conference at Bhopal in 2015.

Ranu Uniyal is the author of two books of poetry, Across the Divide (2006) and December Poems (2012). Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu and Uzbek. Her other books include Women and Landscape: The Fiction of Margaret Drabble and Anita Desai (2000), Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (co-edited 2007), Women in Indian Writing: From Difference to Diversity (2009), and Poems: The Day We Went Strawberry Picking in Scarborough (2018). Uniyal did her M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Ph.D. from the University of Hull, UK. Her books have been extensively reviewed in international journals. A professor of English at the University of Lucknow and a founding member of PYSSUM, a day care centre for people with special needs in Lucknow, Uniyal’s poems have been published in Mascara Literary Review, Medulla Review, Kavya Bharati, Femina, Manushi, Indian Literature, Muse India, Twenty 20, Sketchbook, Littlewood Press and other publications across the world.

An acclaimed creative writer, critic, and translator, Dr. Rita Nath Keshari has over 1000 publications in a wide variety of journals and newspapers to her credit. She has published nine books encompassing local history, criticism, poetry, shorter fiction, fiction, and translation. Her short stories have been included in the syllabi of English departments of Pondicherry University (Pondicherry), Central University of Tamil Nadu (Thiruvarur), and Bharatidasan Government College for Women (Pondicherry). Dr. Keshari, Head of the Department of English at the Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Karaikal, did her Ph.D. from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her published works include The Transplanted Wife (a collection of short stories, 2005), Glimpses of Pondicherry (co-authored with P.Raja, 2005), The Post-colonial Encounter: India in the British Imagination (2006), Busy Bee Book of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (co-edited with P.Raja, 2007) and Anguish and After (a collection of poems, 2008). 


Sadhna Shanker is an author and civil servant. ‘Ascendance’, her second novel is literary science fiction, after ‘Never a Disconnect’, which was spun around the challenges of contemporary urban women. ‘When the Parallels Meet’ (2007), is a collection of essays, ‘Ahlanwa-Sahlan- A Syrian Journey’ and Catching Fireflies are travel books. She has written for the International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, The Times of India, The Hindu and other newspapers, and Huffington Post. Her article on the emergence of ÕHinglishŒ has been included in Norway’s grade ten English textbook. She has also published academic work in the Economic and Political Weekly and the India Economic Review. A PhD in Economics, she lives in New Delhi. Her blog:

A poet, playwright, translator, and academic, Sitanshu Yashaschandra Mehta is known for his rich contribution to Indian literature which earned him the Saraswati Samman, Sahitya Akademi Award, and Kabir Samman. A recipient of the Padma Shri in 2006 for his literary achievements, Mehta is known for surrealism in his writings which is considered his signature style. Mehta, who served as Vice-Chancellor of Saurashtra University, Rajkot, and also worked as chief editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Literature published by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, is known for his collections of poetry titled Odysseus nu Halesu (1974), Jatayu (1986) and Vakhar (2008) beside innumerable plays and criticism in English and Gujarati. He wrote and adapted several plays many of which were staged. He adapted Eugene Lonesco’s The Lesson, Thomas Hardy’s story, Day After the Fair, and Peter Shaffer’s Equus in Gujarati. He received the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak, the highest award in Gujarati literature in 1987. Mehta had written the screenplay of the 1993 Hindi film Maya Memsaab which was based on Gustave Flaubert’s Madam Bovary.

Udayan Vajpeyi is a Hindi poet, essayist, short-fiction, and script writer. His works have been translated into English, French, Swedish, Polish, Bulgarian and many Indian languages. He has received various awards for his writing, including a Senior Fellowship from the Government of India (1994 – 96), the Krishna Baldev Award (2001), and the Raja Foundation Award (2003). Has published three collections of poems including Kuchh Vakya, four collections of short stories including Ret Kinare ka Ghar, three books of essays, a book on tribal painting and folk tales, Jangarh Kalam & has recreated two plays, Uttarramcharitam and Abhijnan Shakuntam into Hindi for Sopanam (repertory of theatre directed by K.N. Panikkar) and has written a new play with Kavalam Narayan Panikkar. Has written a book each on theatre director Ratan Thiyam, Theatre of Grandeur, and K.N. Panikkar, Theatre of Rasa. Works are translated into around 15 languages including French, Polish, English, Swedish, Odiya, Malayalam etc. Was writer-in-residence in Lavigny (Switzerland), Paris in 2003, and was a fellow at Nantes (France). Has written texts for many documentary films including Kumar Shahani’s Bamboo flute and dialogues for Char Adhyaya (a film based on Tagore’s novel of the same name) directed by Kumar Shahani.Teaches Physiology in Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, and edits a journal on Arts, Literature, and Civilization, Samaas.


Considered an icon of modern Sindhi poetry, Vasdev Mohi’s repertoire includes 25 books of poetry, translated works, critical pieces and short stories. His critical essays and papers have appeared in national and international literary seminars and he is the recipient of several awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sindhi Sahitya Akademy Award, Gangadhar Meher National Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award of Sindhi Akademy. Mohi, who is known for making Sindhi gazal popular among the masses by combining traditional Sindhi writing with the Japanese Hyku style, published his first book titled Tazaad, a collection of poems in 1976, which received critical acclaim. Subah Kithe Ahe, another book published by him, made him a favourite among readers. He was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, a literary recognition given annually by the KK Birla Foundation, for his work Chequebook, a collection of short stories in Sindhi which was published in 2012. Chequebook highlights the life of a domestic helper, facing ill-treatment from her husband and hardships because of poverty. Having done his Master’s in English literature from Gujarat University, Mohi joined Life Insurance Corporation of India, but after a short stint, proceeded to teach English at the Indian High School, Dubai, from where he retired as Lecturer and Head, Department of English.

A multi-faceted personality, Dr. Vikram Sampath is an engineer who graduated from BITS, Pilani, did his MBA (Finance) from S.P.Jain, Mumbai, and got his Ph.D. in History and Music from the University of Queensland, Australia. He proceeded to get trained as a Carnatic Vocalist. Based in Bengaluru, Dr. Sampath is an acclaimed writer/historian and author of three bestselling books– Splendours of Royal Mysore: The Untold Story of the Wodeyars; My Name Is Gauhar Jaan: The Life and Times of a Musician and Voice of the Veena: S.Balachander– A Biography. The book on Gauhar Jaan, a biography on India’s first recording superstar from Kolkata, won him the ARSC International Award for Excellence in historical research in New York in 2011. He has been chosen as one of the young leaders for the Aspen Global Leadership Programme and represented India at the Australia-India Youth Dialogue. He established the Archive of Indian Music, India’s first digital sound archive for vintage recordings of the country. Dr. Sampath is also the Founder-Director of the Bangalore International Folk Festival organised in association with the Times of India Group.  


 Yashodhara Ray Chaudhuri is a poet residing in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and an established name in Bengali poetry. Publishing her works since 1993, she has seventeen collections of poetry to her credit from 1996 to 2019. She was awarded the Krittibas Puroskar in 1998 ( instituted by the Krittibas Patrika Krittibas[1]) and was awarded the Bangla Akademy Puraskar in 2006. She has 7 collections of prose so far. She writes regularly for Bengali periodicals like Desh, Anandabazar Patrika, etc. She is a member of the prestigious Indian Audit and Accounts Service. She is currently posted in Bhubaneswar, Odisha as the Principal Accountant General ( ERSA) Odisha. She is married to Trinanjan Chakrabarty, a noted teacher of the French Language and literature, and also a translator and author. Yashodhara also is a translator of the original French language. She translated Leonardo Da Vinci by Serge Bremley in 2008, and Combat de la Vie by Dr Luc Montaignier in 2012.


Abhinna Routray is an established theatre Director, who is known for his experiments in designing a play. His design creates connections among different art forms such as music, painting, and usable three-dimensional sets emphasizing the emotional angle of theatre. Now he is the Artistic Theater Director of “JEEVAN REKHA”. Mr.Routray’s background has included acting in 15 stage productions, directing & designing more than 22nos of Odia plays apart from engagement with various theatre groups directing plays. Some of his directed and well appreciated original Odia plays are Seeta, Mukta Labha, Anamika Tara, Dhusara Pruthivi, Chhabi, Duiti Surya, etc. He has exposed the audiences to many translated or adapted plays with his innovations such as Andha Yug, Adhe Adhure, Kanyadana, Gotie Gadhhara Atma Katha, Kamala, Taa Maa Ra Kahani, Dhadi Ramayan, etc. For his organizational capacity, he completed seven years of a leading role as General Secretary of Odisha Natya Sangha, the apex association of theatre groups of Odisha for which he is well connected with theatre practitioners from all over Odisha.

 Ajay Swain was born in 1957 in Jaipur of Khorda District. He is a Story writer and was awarded the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award in 2012 for his book CHARITRA CHAUPASA.

Akash Das nayak (b. 1981), popularly known by the film industry name Akash, is an Odia film actor and politician known for doing action-oriented movies. He was also the MLA of Korei Constituency. He was born at Jajpur Road on 17 September 1981 in Odisha, India to Mayadhar Nayak and Indira Das. He graduated from Vyasanagar College, Jajpur Road (LLB) from Utkal University. His aunt Anita Dash was a veteran film actress. He debuted in the Oriya film industry in 2008 with the film Kalinga Putra, receiving a Best Actor award. Since then, he has acted in several movies like Mita Basichi Bhoota Saathire and Just Mohabatt. Awards: Best Actor award from the Government of Odisha. 

Akshay Kumar Parija (born 12 May 1954) is an Indian filmmaker known for his depictions of Odia culture and Odissi dance in his films. Originally a banker, he currently lives in Dubai. Akshay Parija presently serves as a Board Member and Executive Director of Blue Lines Shipping Group which he founded in the year 2010. Blue Lines Shipping has its operations all across the globe. An Alumnus of Harvard Business School, US has studied at Utkal University and BJB College as well Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation at 56th National Film Awards Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami Awards- 2008 for Best Film Special recognition Film Award at OMAN Green Awards’ 2011 Membership Achievement Award- 2010 for his role as the Producer at OSA, San Francisco, Bay Area Jury Award for Best Foreigner Film-2010 at 6th Muscat Film Festival President’s Award at 64th National Film Awards, 2016.

Poet Amaresh Patnaik was born on 24 May 1948 to the Late Ananta Patnaik (a poet) & Neerada Prava Patnaik. He did LLB also. In 1973, he swung into Editorship as his first assignment in Soviet Desh in Calcutta till 1992 and after assuming such responsibilities in different magazines, in 1993 took up as Exe. Editor- SAMAYA. He also shouldered the responsibility of being the Exe. Member of Jury, International Film Festival, Eastern Regional Selection Panel (1979-80), Exe. President Juba Lekhaka Sammilani (1994), Outside Expert Selection Panel, Sponsor Program of Doordarshan (2003 onwards), Outside Expert Akashwani Award Selection Panel, (2007 onwards), Member General Council Sahitya Akademy, 2018 onwards, Member, Odia Advisory Board Sahitya Akademy, 2018. His major poetries are Manaru Manaku, etc. He is the recipient of various awards such as the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award Think Odisha Leadership Award for Literature etc.

Amit Ranjan has just returned from a stint as Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at FIU, Miami. He teaches literature at RIE, NCERT, Bhubaneswar. He has a PhD and an MPhil, both from JNU. His doctoral research is about John Lang, a 19th-century Australian writer, He was a Fulbright scholar previously as well, in 2015-16, also at FIU. He has also been a recipient of the Endeavour Fellowship of Australia, as well as the Inlaks Research Grant, courtesy of which he was a Visiting Fellow at UNSW, Sydney. He was also a delegate at Australia India Youth Dialogue, in 2015, and a writer-in-residence at Sangam House Writers’ Residency, in 2010. He also holds the honorary position of Australia Awards Ambassador Amit’s poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals like La Zaporogue, Anti Serious, Cold Noon, Muse India, The Equator Line, etc. Amit also has written four plays. His poetry collection Find Me Leonard Cohen, I am Almost Thirty, published last year, has received very good reviews.

Anu Choudhury (born 30 August 1979) is a leading Indian actress. She has starred in more than 50 films. Her debut Odia film was Maa Goja Bayani. Anu was born in Bhubaneswar to Odia film editor Rabi Choudhury and Soudamini Choudhury. Anu Choudhury has been a committed social activist, active in supporting child survival and fighting AIDS and injustice in real life. Anu has worked as a brand ambassador for UNICEF, Lalchand Jewellers, Kanchan Jewellery, Ruchi Curry Powder, Epari Sadashiv Jewellery, etc. She has been a brand ambassador for more than 20 commercials. Recently, Anu Choudhury was appointed as Brand Ambassador for a public awareness campaign, “Bijuli Didi” on behalf of all the electric distribution utilities of the State, CESU, NESCO, WESCO, and SOUTHCO, and all the franchisees working in the CESU area.   

Aparna Mohanty (b. Dec. 1952) is a hot favourite of Odia poetry lovers for her confessional writings on women. For more than three decades she is a distinct voice celebrating womanhood and pleading for women’s liberation. She is a pioneer poet whose writing countless women readers identify their hidden ambitions, passions, sentiments, dreams, and frustrations. Aparna has so far brought out eighteen books including eleven outstanding poetry collections, four translation works, and three criticism books. Her Jhiapaine Jharka Tia (Window for the Daughter) was awarded by State Sahitya Akademi in 2007. Atithi, Purnatama, Nasta Nari, and Ma ra Kandana Geeta are some of her much-read and admired poetry collections. Her poetry collections are translated into Hindi and Bengali languages. Her recent series of poems is on Women in Tantra which she writes under the title, Yogini Geet’.

Ashok Mohanty is a Poet, Artist, Publisher, and Organiser. He was born on 2nd July 1966. He is the Secretary of Paschima Sahitya Patrika. He owns a publication house named Paschima Publication and has more than 800 publications. He is currently the General Secretary of Bhubaneswar Pustaka Mela and has more than 700 books back page projects and editing. His publications are: Modern Master Series Haraprasa Das Biswayana Pararbi Odia Kabita (Debate).He is the recipient of various awards such as Best Magazine Editor HaraprasaDasBiswayana Pararbi Odia Kabita (Debate). He is the recipient of various awards such as Best Magazine Editor – 1996 by Ankur Pratisthana Pakhighara sponsored Best Editor – Magazines 2011.

Dr. Ashutosh Parida (b.1946) is prominent in contemporary Odia literature for his committed poetry. He has eleven collections of poems and one book of essays. For his literary contribution, he has received several awards/honours including Odisha Sahitya Academy Award, Bhanuji Rao Memorial Poetry Prize, Sachi Routray Kabita Samman, Gangadhar Meher Kabita Samman, etc. He worked as a scientist at CSIR Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, and is presently retired.

Asit Mohanty, a renowned Odia Presently he is staying with his wife – Sasmita, and two sons. He did his Post Graduation in Odia with a specialisation in Modern Literature from Ravenshaw College in 1975. He started writing instinctively which was further honed influenced by the close companionship of an Odia litterateur and Sahitya Academy Awardee Shri Akhil Mohan Patnaik. The practice of writing turned to serious efforts by means of writing essays and features on Literature and culture. Those articles were published in prominent periodicals like Jhankar, Samabesh, Konark, Esana & Srimandir, etc.

Bharat Majhi (born 1972) is recognized as a voice of growing promise and resonance in the world of Oriya poetry. Born in Ghumerguda in Kalahandi in the state of Orissa, he now lives in Bhubaneswar where he works as a journalist. He has published ten Collections of poetry. His third collection (Mahanagara Padya) won him the Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award in 2008. He also won the Sanskriti Award in 2004. 

Born in the year 1961 in Baseli Sahi of Puri, Dr. Bhaskar Mishra is well-known in Odisha as a scholar and researcher. He completed his formal education from SCS College, Puri, and G.M.Law College. Further, continued his studies for Post Graduation in Odia and Ph.D in Shree Jagannath & Matha Culture from North Odisha University, Baripada. He has authored more than 45 books on Shree Jagannatha and Matha Culture. Presently he is working as an officer-on-special duty in the law department. He has been highly acclaimed by both the readers of the state as well as abroad. For the last 25 years, he has been rendering his help to prominent odia journal- Neeladri as editor-in-chief. A noted litterateur, he has been awarded by many institutions for his immense contribution to the consciousness.

Born on 25.10.1937, Sri Bibhuti Patnaik is a popular novelist who has been dedicated to the history of the Oriya novel. If his total number of novels are to be listed out it will be elephantine in size. He is yet admired by his innumerable readers. He received Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985 for his novel ‘Aswamedhara Ghoda’. To His Credit Other Award Also Goes Like Sarala, Jhankara, And Bisubha Awards. His Novels Include : Sesha Basanta, Abhimana, Parapurusha, Gare Kajwala Dhare Luha, Oda Matira Swarga, Sesha Abhinaya, Aswamedhara Ghoda, Trutiya Purusha, Khelaghara Bhangigala, Prema O’ Pruthibi, Dipata Sankha, He Bandhu Bidaya, Ujani Jamuna, And Many More. Criticisms Include À Sampratika Sahitya, Sahitrara Suchipatra, Odia Upanyashara Samaj Tatwika Ruparekha. To his credit, 75 nos of novels have already been printed and admired by his readers.

An engineer by profession and presently working as a member of the Indian Administrative Service, Bishnupada Sethi’s inclination towards poetry was natural from a young age. He has authored two anthologies of poetry in English titled Where Shall I Go (2005) and My World of Words (2010). Sethi, for whom poetry has been a passion, graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, and did his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai before joining the IAS. He worked in various capacities including District Magistrate and Collector of several districts and took up several other assignments in the Odisha Government.

A filmmaker, author, and film teacher got the National Award and International Award for her film, served on a Jury for National Awards, participated in the International leadership programme USA, and has more than thirty-five documentaries and short films to her credit. She has been teaching Film Studies and Media since 2002. She has authored three short story collections and two novels in Odia. Presently she is teaching at NIIFT Bhubaneswar.

Jitendra Narayan Dash (birth 3 August 1953), who writes under the pseudonym of Dash Benhur is a Sahitya Akademi award winner writer from Odisha. He was born in Khandapada in Nayagarh district, Odisha. He retired as the Principal of Samanta Chandrasekhar (Autonomous) College, Puri. He is a founder member of Aama Odisha.

Dr. Debasis Panigrahi is a popular and critically acclaimed writer from Odisha. He has published ten collections of short stories, three collections of novellas, one novel, one work of non-fiction, and one book of lyrics in Odia. Odia is the sixth language of India to have been accorded the status of a classical language. Dr. Panigrahi has bagged a host of literary awards; the most notable being the ‘Odisha Sahitya Academy Award’ for short stories. His stories figure in the anthologies of best Odia short stories brought out by ‘Kendra SahityaAkademi’ and ‘Odisha Sahitya Academy’ and have also been translated into English, Hindi, and other regional languages. 

Devdas Chhotray is an Indian Odia author, administrator, and academician. He was the first vice-chancellor of Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha. His work consists of poetry, short stories, lyrics, musicals, and screenplays. Chhotray’s father Gopal Chhotray, a recipient of Padma, Central Sahitya Akademi, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, was an architect of modern Odia theatre.

Dr. Dipak Samantarai was with the national broadcaster, All India Radio, for more than three decades. He has been awarded at the national level for radio programme production and training of media personnel. He says he loves 3P: People, Poetry and Photography. Published widely in regional and national publications, he has three anthologies of poetry and a couple of compilations of motivational writings in Odia.

An accomplished bilingual poet and critic in English and Odia, his poems have been anthologized thrice in the British Council’s ‘Poetry India’ and have been included in the Little Magazine’s ‘India In Verse’, ’99 Words’. Some of them have been translated into Hindi, Bengali and Kannada. ‘Unreal City and Other Poems’ is his English translation of Odia poet J.P. Das’s poetry. He also has three collections of poems and a book of ‘absurd’ short stories in Odia titled ‘Dhuaan’. 

Dr. Gayatribala Panda (b.1977) is a well known Odia poet, fiction writer, literary critic, and journalist. She has to her credit fourteen collections of poetry (two of which were translated into Hindi, one into English), four novels, and two collections of short stories; her poems have been translated into many Indian languages including English and Hindi. She is the recipient of the first Sahitya Akademi – Yuva Puraskar in Odia for her poetry collection GAAN (The Village) in 2011, the State Youth Award for poetry, Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award for Popular Writer of the Year 2011 and Utkal Sahitya Samaj Yuva Kabi Samman, etc. In 2012, She was named one of the ten best young writers in the country by the English daily Indian Express (Eye Magazine). She was the ‘Writers in Residence’ at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2015. Her poems and short stories have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She is the Editor of Anyaa, a widely acclaimed Odia literary journal. She can be reached at:

Haraprasad Das is an eminent Odia language poet, essayist, and columnist, who has 12 works of poetry, four prose, three translations, and one fiction to his credit. A retired civil servant who has served as an expert in several UN bodies, Das was presented with the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999 and the Moortidevi Award in 2013. He is also the recipient of the Kalinga Literary Award (2017), Gangadhar Meher Award (2008), and Sarala Award (2008).

Hiranmayee Mishra is a novelist and poet from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. :2 June 1978 (age Born 41 years),: Education Utkal University PhD. , (Women’s Studies), University of York, England. Her major books are Negotiating Privately for an Effective Role in Public Space: A Case Study of Women in Panchayats of Orissa, India. RATIRA SATHI, MEGHA PAKHIRA GITA and many more. She has been awarded with Fakirmohan Galpa Samman, 2017 Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Young Writer Award, Kolkatta, 2012, Lekhika Sansad Sudhanshubala Panda Upanyas Puraskar, 2013, Time-pass Booker Award, 2013 and many more.

Hrusikesh Mallick was born on 5th March 1955 in Banitia in the Bhadrak District of Odisha. His childhood was mostly spent in his village. He was very much engrossed in Bhagabata Parayana, Debates, and Discussions in his village. He was very fond of listening to the bhajans of Bhima Bhoi. This involvement nurtured and instigated the hidden poet within him to explore. His poetic expertise was evident when he penned down poems and stories in his school days. His first poem was published in Dharitri’s Chua Bahala section. He has 10 anthologies of Poems and 20 books to his credit. Post his retirement, he got associated with the daily Odia newspaper – Dharitri as Editor of the Feature & Literature section.

Jatindra Kumar Nayak is a translator, literary critic, columnist, editor, and educationalist from Orissa. He has translated several works of Oriya literature into English, including Yantrarudha, an Oriya language novel by Chandrasekhar Rath, as ‘Astride the Wheel’. ‘Astride the Wheel’ received the Hutch Crossword Book Award 2004 for Indian Language Fiction Translation. Earlier he won the prestigious Katha Translation Award for his English rendering of Tarun Kanti Mishra’s short story ‘The Descent’. 

A major English poet and the first Indian to win the Sahitya Akademi award for English poetry, Jayanta Mahapatra is the author of popular poems such as Indian Summer and Hunger which are regarded as classics in modern Indian English literature. He shared a special bond with A.K.Ramanujan, one of the finest poets in the IEP tradition. The awards bestowed on him included the Jacob Glatstein Memorial Award for poetry in Chicago (1975), Cultural Award Visitor, Australia (1978), Japan Foundation– Visitor’s Award (1980), and SAARC Literacy Award (2009).

Kedar Mishra is a complete literary person born on th 15 April 1972. He is known as an Editor, Translator, Journalist, Scholar, Art Critic, Human Rights activist and a Cultural Activist. To his credit, he has five Poetry collections in Odia language: Sabdaku Charipada, Asha-Sukta, SUnya Abhisara, Raga Kedar & Premara Dura Geeta, Two collection of Prose; Vag Bishesha & Sesha Sparsha, Three books in English; Kandhamala Riot & Mass Media, Bhima Bhoi: Verses from the Void and Popular Religion & Ascetic Practices (Co-authored). His works are widely translated in number of Indian & foreign languages like, English, German, Irish, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi etc. He is awarded with many awards such as Pakhighara Writers Award, Utkal Sahitya Samaj Award, Kalinga Literary Youth Award and many more.

Lipipuspa Nayak is a critic of comparative Indian literature and translator. Educated at Utkal University, and English and Foreign Language University (formerly, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad), she has published eight books, including English translations of an 18th-century prose classic (Four Tales for Amusement), a 16th-century verse narrative in Oriya (Lakshmi Purana À A Paean to the Hindu Goddess of Prosperity), and a modern play (God-Demon, published by Sahitya Academi, New Delhi) and about twenty papers on Comparative Indian Literatures. Lipipuspa has been awarded the Government of India National Culture Fellowship (2003-5) and short-listed for a Fulbright Fellowship. She contributes freelance articles to the major English dailies like the Indian Express and the Pioneer.

Manu Dash, the author of A Brief History of Silence, is an Indian poet. He resides in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. 

Mona Lisa Jena was born in Khurda, Odisha. She is the author of many books in various genres, including two collections of short stories, three books of poems, and several volumes of translations. She has to her credit three collections of poems in Odia; Nisarga Dhwani and Ai Sabu Dhruba Muhurta and Nakshtra Devi. Her short stories are collected in Indramalatira Shoka and Nilamadhabi. Nargis is her novel written in Odia. Ms. Jena also wrote a biography of the noted Odia poet Ramakanta Rath besides translating and editing Dasuram’s Script, a collection of contemporary Odia stories published by Harper Collins. She also translated Ms Pratibha Ray’s novel into English as Citadel of Love, published by Rupa & Co.Delhi. Ms. Jena received The Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation ( for the year 2007), for the novel Astoraga originally written in Assamese by Homen Boroghain. She was awarded by Central Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, for literature in 2017 for translating Asirvadara Ranga.


Journalist-turned-media academician and an accomplished writer Mrinal Chatterjee (b.1961) has worked in all media forms with élan. Presently he is working as a Professor and Regional Director of the Eastern India Campus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), located in Dhenkanal, Odisha. Dr. Chatterjee has published seven books on Journalism and Mass Communication in English and Odia including his seminal work History of Journalism in Odisha. He has published over two dozen book chapters, papers, and articles in national and international journals. Recently he has co-edited (with Dr. Uma Shankar Pandey) an anthology of essays and papers titled Media, Democracy and Development and (an anthology of essays and lectures titled Mahatma Gandhi: A Journalist and Editor with Snehasis Sur). He is also a popular columnist. He writes columns in English and Odia.

Dr. Dash is a prominent name to the people of Odisha in Lord Jagannatha culture. Born to Late nd Jadumani Dash & Late Haramani Dash on 2 June 1958 in Daitapada Sahi, Hatajodi Thakurani Lane, Puri. He is the Ex-Principal of NNAC (Sanskrit College), at Lokanath Road, Puri. He is a postgraduate in Sahitya Acharya & Sankhyayoga Acharya, Ph.D. in Vidyavaridhi and Sangitavisarad in Odishi & Hindustani Vocal. He mastered all formats of Sanskrit, Odia, Hindi, and English languages. He is a speaker (Prabachaka) in Bhagabata, Srimad Bhagabat Gita, The Ramayan, The Jagannath Culture. He is a prominent commentator on the world-famous Car Festival (Ratha Jatra) of Puri on Television and Radio. He has his hands on astrology also. He has shouldered the responsibilities of being the Vice President of Shri Ramadaya Parishad, Puri, Treasurer of Nikhila Utkala Sanskrit Mahamandala, Editor of Srimad Bhagabat Sudha, Secretary, Religious Affair, Training & Central Library, Sri Jagannath Chetana Gabesana Pratisthana, Puri and Ex-Syndicate Member of Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University. He is the recipient of the Yuba Prativa Samman – Pride of Shrikhsetra Award Sri Jagannath Sanskruti Surakhsya Bahini and many more.

An influential voice in Indian literature, Paramita Satpathy Tripathy’s works reflect the new strides being taken by women’s fiction in India in their themes, tone, and structure. Tripathy, who writes in both English and Odia, received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2016 for her book Prapti. She has also received several honours including the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award, Bhartiya Bhasha Parishad Puraskar, Assam Sahitya Sabha Samman, and Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award. Her literary creations are Intimate Pretence, A Boundless Moment, Colours of Loneliness and Other Stories, Door Ke Pahad, Chandan Ka Phool, Paap Aur Anya Kahaniyan, and Prapti Aar Anyanya Galpo. A member of the Indian Revenue Service since 1989, she is presently working as Commissioner of Income Tax in New Delhi. (123)

Pitabas Routray, a postgraduate in Applied Economics, after serving in various public sector undertakings of India, retired as General Manager – Marketing in Paradeep Phosphates Ltd. He is a popular humorous short story writer, more popular for his thirty (30) books on Lord Jagannatha. He was awarded with Doctorate for his thesis on “Economic Impact of Lord Jagannatha Temple in the lives of people of Odisha” the first research work of its kind on Lord Jagannatha. His books have been regarded as best sellers and his humorous short stories have been translated into various languages. His books on Lord Jagannatha have been translated in different Indian languages. He has received many accolades and awards including KANTA KABI PURASKAR for humorous writing, Surendra Mohanty Memorial Award for overall contribution to Literature, and UTKAL RATNA AWARD for popularizing the cultural heritage of Lord Jagannatha.

Prabasini Mahakud is basically Prabasini Mahakud Tiwari, was born in 1957 in Koksara of Kalahandi District of Odisha. Her childhood was mostly spent in different places in western Odisha. She is a Post Graduate in Odia Literature. Being a Poetess and a translator, she received the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award in 2009 for her book DHADIYE SIMILI PHULA and other poems.

An eminent academic and fiction writer in contemporary India, Dr. Pratibha Ray is known for her pursuit of a social order based on equality without class, caste, religion, or sex. A winner of the Jnanpith Award (2011), she was the first woman writer to receive the Moortidevi Award (1991) and was presented the Padma Shri in 2007. Her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishaka (1974) was a best seller while Yajnaseni (1984) and Sheelapadma (1983) are rated among her notable works. Both the novels were translated into English and several other Indian languages. The other awards and recognitions bestowed on her included the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award, and Sarala Award, Born in a remote village in Balikuda block of Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, Dr. Ray started writing at the age of nine. Her tilt toward an egalitarian society in her writings led many to brand her as a communist while others saw her as a feminist. Dr. Ray, however, would describe her, elf as ‘a humanist’ and strongly believed that both man and woman were equal. Men and women were created differently for the healthy functioning of society while the strengths, talents, and skills women were endowed with needed to be nurtured further for societal good. An M.A. in Education, she did her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, and her post-doctoral research was on Tribalism and Criminology of Bondo Highlander.

Recognized as one of the leading poets of the country, Pratibha Satpathy has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award. Satpathy, who has been writing poetry in Odia for over four decades, has also translated a number of famous English literary works by well-known writers such as Pearl S. Buck into Odia language. She herself has translated many of her Odia books into Hindi. Editor of the poetry magazine Udbhasa, a quarterly publication, she also edited the Odia periodical Ishtahaar for 25 years. Satpathy was bestowed with several national awards including the Critic Circle of India Award (1996), and the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award (2001) for her poetry collection Tanmaya Dhuli and Sahitya Bharati Samman (2014). She was also presented, among others, the Sarala Award (1992), and the state Sahitya Akademi Award (1986) for her poetry collection Nimishe Akshara and the Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award (2007).

Dr. Pritidhara Samal (Born on 5th Sept 1973) is an Eminent voice in Odia Literature. Has been writing Poetry, short stories, and essays on literature for more than 25 years. She is working as a lecturer in Odia dept. in Govt. Women’s College, Koraput. She is the First Indian writer to be published under the “Nabodoya” Scheme of Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. She has four Poetry Collections and one research book to her credit and has received more than 50 state-level awards including the state youth Award from Govt. of Odisha.

Pritish Acharya is a professor of history at the NCert. Presently posted in Regional Institute of Education, Bhubaneswar. He writes short stories; and is an essayist and columnist in Odia. His short story collections include Pausa Pahile Jai, ATMALIPI, Patri Anweshana, and Gopana Chithi. Nbt, publication division, Odisha culture department, and sage publications and orient Black Swan have published his works. As an academic, he has taught at Rajiv Gandhi University Itanagar and the National Defense Academy Khadagvasla. 

Rabindra K Swain(b.1960) has five books of poems, the latest one being This House is not for Knowing. His poems are published in such international magazines as The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, World Literature Today, and The Times Literary Supplement. Presently he is the Managing Editor of Chandrabhaga.

A major poet in Odia literature, Rajendra Kishore Panda is the author of 16 books of poetry as well as editor of two web anthologies of poetry, Kavitayan and Varnamala and a web journal, The Cogitocrat. His literary exploits won him several honours including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1985), the Senior Fellowship for Literature awarded by the Department of Culture, Government of India and a D.Litt degree (honoris causa) from Sambalpur University. A member of the Indian Administrative Service, he holds a Master’s degree in Arts from Allahabad University. Panda, who published his first book of poetry in 1975, belonged to Batalaga village in Sambalpur district the inhabitants of which had to face the trauma of displacement when the Hirakud Dam was constructed as the entire area was submerged under the reservoir in 1956-57. Batalaga was one of the 285 villages that went underwater.

Patil, a 2005-batch IAS officer and now District Magistrate of Mayurbhanj, used to sell fresh breads during his early schooldays to earn at least `3 days to meet his study expenses. The agonizing struggle of the young IAS officer is described in detail in the latest book written by him Maa, I’ve Become a Collector! Patil was the Collector of Koraput and Kandhamal before manning another tribal district, Mayurbhanj. Published by Unicorn Books, New Delhi, the book was earlier translated into Odia. Born to a poor farmer family in an interior village in Maharashtra, Patil struggled hard in his life to get into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), reveals the book.

Poet Rakshak Nayak was born on 18 August 1963 in Paikasahi, Sorava, Nayahat in Puri. He is presently posted as Public Relations Officer to Hon’ble Governor of Odisha. His poems are published in Odisha Sahitya Akademi -Urdhwa Udaana (2000), Brahmashilaa (2003) in Shreeparna, Puri, Asaranti Antakshari (2011) in Srujan, Bhubaneswar, Anwesha Aharnisha (2015) in Srujan, Bhubaneswar, Argala Anargala (2017), Srujan, Bhubaneswar, Sheshaheena Santarana (2019), PenIn Bhubaneswar, Amrita Andhaara (2019), Srujan, Bhubaneswar and many more. State Youth Award for Poetry (1997), Govt. of Odisha, Odisha Sahitya Academy Award (2013) for Asaranti Antakshari.

One of the most renowned modern poets in Odia literature, Ramakanta Rath was greatly influenced by poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. Rath, who was a member of the Indian Administrative Service, experimented with form and style. The quest for the mystical, the riddles of life and death, the inner solitude of the individual self, subservience to material needs, and carnal desires were among the philosopher-poet’s favourite themes. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, Saraswati Samman in 1992, and India’s third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 2006. He also served as the Vice-President and President of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi between 1993 and 2003.

Dr. Ramesh Prasad Panigrahi (b. 1944) is Ph.D. in postmodern American Drama from Utkal, retired as Reader from Ravenshaw University, in 2001-Officiated as the Delegated Board Member of CBFC, Mumbai for three years-Published 90 plays,2 novels,30 short stories and 200 lyrics for AIR and Television-Directed 18 plays for Jatra, wrote six screenplays and dialogues for Odia films- Won Sahitya Academi Award-1984 and Sangit Natak Akademi Award 2001-Six play in English and one play in Hindi published in translation.

Sabyasachi Mohapatra(born 27 August 1950) is an Odia film director, writer, and producer. He was born in Lehedi, Subarnapur, Odisha, India. He owns a production house named Mohapatra Movie Magic. Mohapatra made his directorial debut in the film Bhukha in Kosali Language which won an International Jury award at the Gijon Film Festival in Spain. His movie Jai Jagannatha released in 2006, a mythological film, was a mega-budget released in 15 different Indian languages. Awards Ganakabi Samman awarded by Ganakabi Baishnab Pani Jayanti Committee in 2017 International Jury award Odisha Living Legend Award Sambhabana Oriya cinema award.

Sangram Jena (b. 1952) is a poet, translator, and anthologist, who has authored more than 30 books. He has six poem collections to his credit which include Basaghara, Dehadoha, Chai Pache Pache in Odia, Poems of Passion (translated into English by Prof. Niranjan Mohanty), Basera (translated into Hindi by Prof. Sankarlal Purohit). His latest collection of poems ‘Walking through the Rain’ written in English was published in 2014 and was selected for exhibition at the World Poetry Festival, organised by Sahitya Akademi from 21st to 24th March 2014 in New Delhi.

Saqti Mohanty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics of a Bhubaneswar-based engineering college but is focused on creative writing and drama. He has several collections of poetry to his credit including Pooni Barsha (2004), Seemaheena (2008), Laghuchapa (2010), and Ether Boli Kichhi Nahin (2014). He also published a collection of short stories titled Casino (2018). Mohanty has been honoured for his poetry book Laghuchapa in 2011 and won the Konark Sahitya Samman (2012) and Basanta Muduli Kabita Samman (2016).

Saroj Bal was born in 1976 In Arjunabindha of Bhadrak (Undivided Balasore) District. His childhood was mostly spent in the village. From his childhood, he was very keen on literature and started to rewrite the writings of other writers in his own way. Interestingly, he used to make his own magazine by taking papers from his rough copy and distributing them among his friends. During his graduation days, he started writing in rudimentary literature and published his own hand-written magazine- SINDURA. From there his journey as a litterateur started. He kept himself so engrossed in writing that he subsequently became a notable writer, presenter, and publisher in Odia. He also has a publishing house of his own by the name TIMEPASS. As a literary organiser, he is deeply associated with MUKTA SAHITYA MANCHA, JAGDISH MOHANTY TRUST and SAMBADA SAHITYA GHARA.

Saroj Mohanty writing Odiya poetry and essay for the last twenty-five years heaving two poetry collections named 1. Phularayatra and 2. Gotie Mandiara Dakareand seven essay collection. A Well-known Odiya columnist now editing a trimonthly sociopolitical journal named Anwesa. Date of Birth 19 September 1969. Staying at Sambalpur Odisha.

An eminent Indian poet and literary critic in Odia and English, Sitakant Mahapatra’s notable works are Sabdara Akash (1971), Samudra (1977) and Anek Sharat (1981). Mahapatra, who was a member of the Indian Administrative Service, received the Jnanpith Award in 1993. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2003 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 for literature and also received the Sahitya Akademi Award, Soviet Land Nehru Award, Sarala Award, SAARC Literary Award besides several other prestigious awards. Mahapatra’s first collection of poems in Odia, Dipti O Dyuti, was published in 1963 followed by his second anthology Ashtapadi in 1967 which won him the Odisha Sahitya Akademi award. His third and most celebrated anthology Sara Akash (1971) got him the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award. He has also authored two books on social anthropology published by the Oxford University Press.


Snehaprava Das, born in 1955, has translated Padmamali by Umesh Chandra Sarkar, the first novel in Odiya, into English. Her other works of translation include ‘The World Within’, the English translation of Odiya novel Mane Mane  by Baishnaba Charan Das, and Bibasini, A Historical Romance by Ramsankar Ray. Several stories of prominent story writers in Odiya translated into English by her have been published in The Orissa Review, Indian Literature, The Little Magazine, Rock Pebbles, Celebrating Creativity (Hyderabad 2011, Devi Plus, and other literary journals and magazines). Her translations from English to Oriya, which include poems by Mary Brook, Elizabeth Jennings, P.B. Shelly, and Stories by Saki and Oscar Wilde, are published in Prativeshi, Anupam Bharat, Kahani, and other magazines. She is also a poet, she has written a number of poems dealing with a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from social issues and human values to personal sentiments.

Born on 5th September 1941 in Berhampur, Odisha, Eminent Odia writer and winner of Central and State Sahitya Akademi Awards for poetry, Soubhagya Kumar Misra, started his career as a lecturer of English literature and retired as a Professor of English in Berhampur University. He has been awarded the Sahitya Bharati Samman and Gangadhar National Award for his contributions to Odia literature. His popular books include Atmanepadi (1965), Madhyapadalopi (1971), Naipahanra (1973), Andhra Mahumachhi (1977), Bajrajan (1981), Dwa Suparna (1984), Manikarnika (1990), Anyatra (1994) and Charachara. In an interview with Sunday POST, Soubhagya Misra talks about his career in poetry.

Subodh Patnaik is an Indian theatre director and playwright from Odisha. He is the founder of the Bhubaneswar-based theatre group Natya Chetana and the theatre village ‘Natya Grama’ .Patnaik is the only theatre personality from Odisha to tour all the continents. Born in Puri in 1964, to veterinary Dr Pramod Chandra Patnaik and Dr Sashi Prava Patnaik. He was graduated from the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in Odisha. He had knowledge about street theatre, so he had gone to New Delhi to learn prior to 1986. After returning from New Delhi, he formed the theatre group Natya Chetana on 10 November 1986. Most of his Play is based on social awareness. He has formed Natya Chetana, a theatre group consisting of a total of 25 artists of which 18 are men and 7 women. The “Natya Chetana dramas bridge Odisha, Bengal”. The  Pioneer. A theatre village is also established by this 25-year-old group called Natya Grama. His play “Sindhi” premiered on 9 June 2016 in Kalikasthan, Achham Nepal.[6] “Ramleela” a mythological play inspired by Ramayana performed with his group at Bhanja Kala Mandap, Bhubaneswar.


Subrat Kumar Jena, an uncompromising voice in the era of contemporary poems. Unpretentious and candid are the words and depictions he makes in his poems that voice the strife of the common and deprived population of mankind. Subrat Kumar Jena was born on 3 May 1978 at Haridaspur of Jajpur district. His poetry collections are: Rough Khata ra Premika (2011) and Kamara Saalara Padya (2019).


Sujit Kumar Panda is an Indian writer and employed in the Tax and Accounts cadre of the Finance Department of the Government of Odisha. Hailed as an eminent fiction writer in Odia in contemporary India, Panda began with the publication of Hentala, an anthology of poems in 2004. It reflected the poet’s disillusionment with the societal and economic canvas of the land. But he shifted his focus from poetry to fiction and came out with Faruaa, his first collection of short stories in 2007. The book won the state Youth Award for Fiction. His second book of short stories Manasanka was published in 2015 which fetched him the Yuva Puraskar by the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. He was also conferred with the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Yuva Pursaskar, 2014-15. Panda was also associated with the Odia feature magazine Sachitra Vijaya as a literary feature writer.


Sujit Mahapatra is the Founder of Bakul Foundation, a movement for volunteerism in Odisha, in which he is a full-time volunteer. Through Bakul, Sujit has been trying to demonstrate the power of volunteerism in the fields of Education, Environment, and the Arts. A major goal of Bakul is to promote reading and creativity among children and Bakul has started a library movement in the state and has set up 25 libraries entirely with the resources of volunteers. Bakul has also started publishing picture books for children.

He has done individually what the Government and the film industry have failed to do to preserve the legacy of the 80-year-old Odia film scene. He is Surya Deo, a journalist who is better known as an amazing archivist of Odia films, himself an encyclopaedia on Odia cinema. His two decades of silent but committed documentation on Odia cinema have reaped rich dividends and come to public notice in recent years through the various unique activities of the ‘Film Journalists Forum’ (FJF) of Odisha which he founded just five years ago. FJF has proved how the old Odia movies of the black-and-white era could be crowd-pullers; Deo’s vision and timely action have made it all possible.

Mr. Mishra was born on 24 March 1960 in Delanga, Puri. Subsequent to his education in English language and Literature. Presently he is stationed as Senior Information Officer under Govt. of Odisha in Bhubaneswar. Mr. Mishra’s literary career spanned more than three decades. His poetry books include: Satabarnara Sakala, Eka Eka Sahabasa, Sunyabasa, Mrudu Mrudu Mrityu, and Likhita Nirabata. He has also translated poems of Shahriyar’s and K.Sachidanandan. He has translated the novel of Sunil Gangopadhyaya and the novel of Bishrarn Bedekar. He translated RuskinBond’s novel for Sahitya Academy. Besides these, Mr. Mishra is a known Reviewer, Editor, and Literary activist. Mr. Mishra received a Junior Fellowship from the Dept. of Culture under the HRD Ministry. He received Prananatha Foundation Fellowship, Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award, and many other honours given by various organisations. 

Swagatika Swain, a prominent voice in Odia fiction and novels tries to portray characters as naturally and virtually as it could be. With an immense sense of understanding, she tries to psycho analyse the contemporary characters and storyline. Irrespective of being judgemental she always tries to focus on giving an indifferent presentation in all her creatives.

A Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Hyderabad, Suryasnata Tripathy is an upcoming writer who has already been conferred with the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in 2017. His works include Hajare Janhara Rati, E Samparka Emiti, Gangasiulira Gapa, and Abujha Akuha, all compilations of his poems as also plays (Botal Arz Hai, Last Wish and Pardon). He also did the screenwriting for two Odia short films: Matimuhan and Taraphulara Jhoti. The honours bestowed on her included the Timepass Swayamshri Samman (2017), Timepass Bestseller Award (2019), Srijan Yuva Samman (2019), and Haji Ashraf Ali Uday Pratibha Samman (2019).

Swapna Mishra (1971) has been a prominent voice in contemporary Odia Literature since 1986 having to her credit 8 anthologies of poems 4 novels 4 collections of stories and 3 translations including one published by Sahitya Akademi. Her novels Jaala, Daaga and poetry Shabda Banchi Rahe have been well appreciated by the readers.

Satpathy Dr.Swayam Prabha Satpathy has several years of teaching experience in various capacities. Presently she is working as an Associate Professor in Siksha O Anusandhan University in the department of Humanities. She is also a corporate soft skills trainer. She has been awarded the Siksha Ratan Puraskar, Teacher’s Excellence Award, and the Best Academician Award. She has also attended and presented papers, chaired sessions, and delivered keynote addresses at many National (SRM University, Chennai, ICFAI, Hyderabad, etc.) and International Conferences at Harvard (Cambridge University, Boston) August 2019, Imperial College of London October 2016, National University of Singapore May 2013. She has published papers and books in National and International journals of repute. She is committed, and dedicated and leaves no stone unturned in taking up teaching as a social responsibility. She may be reached at