AJ Thomas, Gita Ramaswamy, Mini Krishnan and VS Sreedhara
Sarah Joseph and Sangeetha Sreenivasan with AJ Thomas
Poetry is a Language
AJ Thomas, Malachi Edwin Vethamani, Prathibha Nandakumar, Sohini Basak
Thomas, A.J. An Indian English poet, author, translator, and editor. He translates poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction prose from Malayalam to English, with more than 20 titles to his credit. He has M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in English Literature (Translation Studies) from the School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. He has been in the editorial team of Indian Literature, India’s national literary journal, for more than 23 years as its Assistant Editor, Editor and as Guest Editor. He taught English in Benghazi University, Ajdabiya Branch, Libya from 2008 to 2014. He was also a Senior Consultant at Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. His noted contributions include Germination (Poetry, 1989), Aagaami Pal Ka Nirman (his poetry in Hindi translation-2010), and his poetry published in about ten international and national level anthologies.
His important literary translation contributions include, Bhaskara Pattelar and Other Stories, (Manas, 1993), Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour and Other Stories (Penguin India), both Paul Zacharia's story- collections in translation, Keshavan’s Lamentations (Keshavante Vilaapangal, renowned novelist M. Mukundan’s premier work), the Jnanpith awarded poet ONV Kurup’s verse-novel Ujjayini, (Rupa) The End of the Day, a long poem, and a poetry collection of ONV he translated and edited, This Ancient Lyre (Sahitya Akademi), Like a Psalm (translation of Perumpadavam Sreedharan’s acclaimed novel Oru Sankeertanam Pole) and many others.
He co-edited with Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, Best of Indian Literature (1500 pages in two books and four volumes, Sahitya Akademi). He has several anthology appearances in national and international publications. He is the recipient of the Katha Award, the AKMG Prize (which enabled him to tour the USA, UK, and Europe for 4 months in 1997. In the USA, he was invited to participate in the International Writing Program at Writers’ Centre, Bethesda, Maryland, and to take part in the Annual Conference of the American Writers’ Federation) and the Vodafone Crossword Award (2007), for Keshavan’s Lamentations. He is a Senior Fellow, Department of Culture, Government of India and has been an Honorary Fellow, Department of Culture, Government of South Korea.
He has been invited thrice as a Guest Speaker in writers’ conferences and readings in South Korea. He has read his poems and made presentations in Biennial Symposia of Asia-Pacific Writers in Australia and Hong Kong, on invitation, and in conferences in Thailand and Nepal. At home, he has read his poems in the forums of the Sahitya Akademi like the prestigious Kavi Sandhi solo reading programme of his own poems, besides reading in a national poetry meet, Kaavya Bhaarati, as well as Multilingual Poets’ Meet, and the several Literary Forums organized by the Akademi. He has also read his poems in important Literature Festivals like the Jaipur Literature Festival, The SAARC Literature Festival, Bangalore Poetry Festival, Chandrabhaga Poetry Festival, the Brahmaputra Literature Festival, the Gateway Literature Festival, The Mathrubhumi International Literature Festival, Chair Poetry Festival, Kolkata, Antonym Poetry Conclave, Kolkata, World Poetry Festival, Kolkata (2007) and others.