1946: Born at Pulloot in Trichur District, Kerala, India on 28 May, Father: K C Shankara Menon, Mother: K. Kunjikutti Amma.1959: First poem in Kalakusumam magazine run by the village library.
1965: Graduation in Zoology from Christ College, Irinjalakuda.
1967: Masters in English Literature from Maharajas College, Ernakulam; joins as Lecturer at KKTM College, Pulloot.
1969: Marries Tulasi Devi(Bindu).
1970: Moves to Christ College, Irinjalakuda; First book, Kurukshetram, a study of modern Malayalam poetry published by Jwala.
1971: First collection of poems, Anchusooryan(Five Suns) published by Poorna Books; edits avant-garde journal Jwala; first daughter Sarita born.
1974: Atmagita, a three-part autobiographical poem published by SPCS.
1975: Opposes Emergency, poems censored, questioned by the CBI, active in People’s Cultural Forum; second daughter Sabita born.
1977: Selected poems, Kavita, in the Kerala Kavita Series of Modern Malayalam Poets.
1978: Prasakti, own little publishing house brings out its first books; active in the Kerala Sastrasahitya Parishad, a popular science movement and Desabhimani Study Circle, Indian Skechukal ( Indian Sketches, a poetry series) published by Prasakthi.
1979: Third poetry collection, Ezhuthachan Ezhuthumbol ( While Ezhuthachan Writes) published.
1980: Promoted Professor; arrested for leading a protest march against the police torture of Dalits in the neighborhood; senior writers including Vailoppilly Sreedhara Menon and Ayyappa Paniker protest; acquitted by the Kerala High Court.
1981: Peedanakalam ( Times of Torment ) published by Sansara Books, Irinjalakuda.
1982: Participates in World Poets’ Meet at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Venal Mazha ( Summer Rain, poems ) and ‘Janathyum Kavitayum, ( Poetry and the People, essays on poetry) published.
1983: Collected Poems, 1965-1982, Saktan Tampuran ( Three Short Plays) , Randu Deergha Kavyangal ( Two Long Poems) and Marxian Soundaryashastram,oru Mukhavura ( An Introduction to Marxian Aesthetics) published.
1984: Kerala Sahitya Akademi C. B. Kumar Endowment Award for Kavitayum Janatayum ((Poetry and the People, a book of criticism), Socrateesum Kozhiyum ( Socrates and the Rooster, poems) published.
1985: Takes part in Valmiki World Poetry festival held by ICCR in Delhi, visits the Union Carbide , Bhopal with the fellow poets to protest; sent by ICCR to represent India at Sarajevo Poetry Days in Yugoslavia. Thiranjedutta Lekhanangal ( Selected Essays) Pablo Neruda ( A Book-long Lecture) published.
1986: Collections of essays, Samvadangal ( Dialogues) and Sameepanangal ( Approaches) published.
1987: Collected Works, revised edition; represents Malayalam at ‘Kavibharati’, Indian Poetry Festival at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, first Hindi collection, Andha Aadmi Jisne Soorya Khoja (The Blind Man Who Discovered the Sun) published by Rajkamal. Ivanekkoodi ( Him Too, Poems,) published by DCBooks.
1988; Visits USSR as part of the ‘ Festival of India ’ Team; Represents Malayalam at ‘Kavita Asia’, Bhopal; Member, Malayalam Advisory Board of the Sahiya Akademi; own collection Ezhuthachan Ezhuthumbol ( When Ezhuthacchan Writes) textbook for BA at Calicut University. New collection of poems, Veedumattam ( Shifting House) published.
1989: Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for poetry for Ivanekkoodi (Him,too); collection of translations of poems in Gujarati published. Three prose works , Samskarattinte Rashtreeyam ( The Politics of Culture, Culture Studies), Sambhashanangal ( Conversations, a Collection of Interviews) and Brehtinte Kala ( The Art of Bertolt Brecht) published.
1990: Sreekant Verma Fellowship from Madhya Pradesh for Translation of Poetry; first collection of poems in Tamil; Ivanekkoodi textbook for MA at Kerala University; study on Pablo Neruda textbook for BA at Calicut University,Poetry collection, Kayattam ( The Ascent ) published by Mulberry Books, Padavukal ( Early Essays) published by Poorna Books.
1992: Joins Sahitya Akademi, Delhi as Editor of Indian Literature ; guest at the SAARC Conference in Kolkata; Sarita gets married to Christopher Fernandez., Kavibuddhan ( Poems) and Veenduvicharangal ( Rethinking, Essays) published.
1993: Oman Kerala Cultural Centre Award; visits Ayodhya as part of a SAHMAT team for night vigil against communalism; Soundaryavum Adhikaravum ( Beauty and Power, Essays) and Ente Sachidanandan Kavitakal ( PoemsSelected by Balachandran Chullikkad) published.
1994: Leads the Writers’ Delegation to China for ‘The Festival of India’ in China.Several special theme and language-specific issues of Indian Literature published. New book of poems, Deshatanam ( Going Places ) published.
1995: Doctorate in post-Structuralist aesthetics from Calicut Unversity; Summer Rain, first collection in English, collection Deshatanam (Roaming Places) textbook for BA at Kerala University; Gandhi, a full-length play published.
1996: Appointed Secretary of the Sahitya Akademi; Ulloor Award for Desatanam; Selected Critical Essays Muhoortangal ( Contexts) and Malayalam ( New Poems) published;edits Gestures, the first ever anthology of South Asian Poetry; second Hindi collection and first Kannada collection published.
1997: Mahakavi P. Kunjiraman Nair Award for the collection, Malayalam, takes part in International Poetry Days in France, visits Sweden as part of a writers’ delegation, first visit to US.
1998: Kolkata Bharateeya Bhasha Parishad Bhilwara Award for Desatanam, edits Signatures, Indian Modern Poetry for NBT.; second English collection; Apoornam ( Imperfect, New Poems) and Pala Lokam, Pala Kalam ( Different Times, Different Climes) published by DCBooks.Second collection of poems in English translation , How to Go to the Tao Temple published.
1999: Leads the Writers’ Delegation to Italy; Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for drama for Gandhi; Senior Fellowship from the Dept. of Culture, Govt.of India; first collection of essays in English ,Indian Literature: Positions and Propositions, again visits Russia for Pushkin’s Birth Bi-centenary. Theranjedutha Kavitakal ( Selected Poems, Current Books) and Kalayum Nishehavum ( Art and Negation, Bodhi Books) published.
2000: Kumaran Asan Award for ‘Selected Poems’; again in China as part of a Govt. delegation, recording of poems in the ‘Archive of World Literature’ by the U S Library of Congress, third collections in Hindi and Imperfect and Other Poems in English, Sambhashanangal ( A Collection of Interviews ) published.
2001: Odakkuzhal Award for ‘Selected Poems’, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for travelogue for Pala Lokam,Pala Kalam ( Many Worlds, Many Times); So Many Births-Three Decades of Poetry in English; Collections in Assamese and Bengali; visit to Sharja; Ivanekkoodi text book for BA at Calicut University.
2002: Gangadhar Meher National Award for poetry from Orissa; Bahrin Keraleeya Samajam Award; Eminent Member in World Poetry Akademi in Verona, second reading tour in Italy; launches Pachakutira ( Green Horse), a quarterly little magazine; fourth collection in Tamil; Collections in Punjabi and Oriya; visits France on French Govt’s invitation; French collection Tant de vies ( Tr. Martine Chemana)published in Paris; Second collection of Essays in English, Authors, Texts, Issues published ; takes part in ICCR’s lit. fest, ‘At Home in the World’; visits Gujarat after the Godhra genocide with Mahaswetadevi, writes articles and poems about it to face the ire of right-wing communalists; poetry collection Malayalam textbook for BA at Calicut University. Collection of poems Vikku (Stammer ) and long essay Bharateeyakavitayile Pratirodhaparamparyam ( The Tradition of Dissent in Indian Poetry) published.
2003: Again in France for Prentemps des Poetes, readings in five French cities; Sabita gets married to Nitin Gulati.
2004: Writers’ Delegation to Syria and Pakistan; again in US on Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s invitation for a seminar on Indian literature; the fifth collection in Hindi ;collections in Urdu and Telugu; collection of poems in Italian, I riti della terra ( Tr. Rossana Gatteshchi) published by Castelvecci in Rome. New collection of poems , Sakshyangal ( Witness) and collection of translate poems in English, Stammer and Other Poems published.
2005: Pandalam Kerala Varma Award for Vikku (Stammer); Vayalar Award for Sakshyangal ( Witness); Bappu Reddy National Award from Andhra Pradesh; Friendship Medal from the Govt. of Poland; fifth collection, in English; again in Sweden to translate Swedish poetry; represents India at the Berlin Literary Festival and at Frankfurt Book Fair, 2005.
2006. Retires from Sahitya Akademi; joins the Dept of Human Resources, Govt of India as Language Policy Consultant; Kodungallur, his birth place in Kerala, celebrates the poet’s 60th birthday; ‘Sahityasree’ degree from Delhi Hindi Sahitya Sammelan; third visit to Germany to read at the Leipzig Book Fair; Special Guest at Abu Dhabi Book Fair; German collection published from Heidelberg; fourth German visit to partake in Frankfurt Book Fair 2006 where the German collection of poems in translation, Ich glaube nicht an grezen ( Tr. Annakutty Findes) is released. Sachidanandante Kavitakal (Complete Poems,1965-2005) published in three volumes; Sree Kerala Varma Award; Knighthood of the Order of Merit from the Govt. of Italy; speaks at the Dante Festival in Ravenna, receives Dante Medal from the Dante Institute; participates in the Afro-Asian Literary Conference at Neemrana, Rajasthan. Anantam ( Infinite), new poems and Kizhakkum Padinjarum ( East and West, Travelogue) in Malayalam published.
2007: M..Kuttikrishnan Award for poetry and criticism; a documentary on the poet, Venalmazha (Summer Rain) released in Kerala, participates in the first Kritya International Poetry Festival in Kerala, Director, the first SAARC Folklore Seminar and Festival in Delhi, edits Beyond Borders, a SAARC Journal of Culture. Initiates the series of books from South Asia, ‘The SAARC Library of Literature’.
2008: Subrahmania Shenoi Award for total literary contribution; Ente Kavita( Own Selection of Poems) published ; second Urdu collection ; participates in Jaipur Literary Festival, Indo-Arab Literary Festival in Abu Dhabi, takes part in the second Kritya International Poetry Festival at Chandigarh, Prakriti Poetry Festival at Chennai; the first Kovalam Literary Festival in Kerala and the first Asia- Pacific Literary Conference and the Delhi International Literary Festival in Delhi. Sixth Hindi collection published; Member, Selection Committee, Jnanpith Puraskar, Guest-editor, Indian Literature, Editor, Kerala Kavita. Third collection of essays written in English, Indian Literature: Paradigms and Praxis published.
2009: Takes part in London Book Fair and Jaipur International Literary Festival, wins the first Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan Memorial Award and NTR National Award, Own collection published in Arabic from Abu Dhabi, wins Patmaprabha Puraskar, takes part in Moscow Book Fair , readings in Moscow and St Petersburg and at the Delhi International Arts Festival. New poetry collection, Marannu Vecha Vasthukkal ( Misplaced Objects) published by DCBooks and essays on poetry, Malayalakavitha Patanangal ( Studies in Malayalam Poetry) published by Mathrubhumi.
2010: Wins C. P. Menon Memorial award for Literary Criticism; nominated Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi; takes part in Jaipur Literary Festival and Hay Festival, Trivandrum; on the final jury of Jnanpith and Moorthidevi awards; Darsanangalude Ritubhedangal (Changing Visions, essays) published. Appointed Director of the School of Translation Studies and Training at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. Another Hindi collection of poems published.
2011: Participates in the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Canada (Montreal); Readings and discussions in Ottawa and Regina; Speaks in a panel on ‘The Role of Literature in Unlearning Intolerance’ at the U N Headquarters, New York. Poetry translation workshop in Wales; readings in two cities in Wales and in Manchester. Harper Collins publishes While I Write: New and Selected Poems in English. On the jury of Kabir Samman and Mathrubhumi Award. New collection in Malayalam, Bahuroopi published by DCBooks. Participates in the Welsh-India Literature Exchange Translation Workshop at Kovalam, Kerala and the Hay Festival, 2011, Trivandrum, Kerala in November. Participates in the Almost Island Dialogues with Chinese writers including Bei Dao in Mumbai in December. Inaugural Readings and panel discussion in the Samanvay Indian Literature Festival in Delhi. Wins Kusumagraj National Award from Maharashtra in December.
2012: Takes Part in Kritya International Poetry Festival,Trivandrum, January; A series of talks ion Indian Literature at the Sree Shankara Sanskrit University, Kaladay, Kerala as Resident Professor. Takes part in the Jaipur Literary Festival, takes part the Rotterdam Poetry Festival, Netherlands, wins the Sahitya Akademi award for Malayalam for Marannu Vecha Vasthukkal ( Misplaced Things, Poetry) and the Green India Excellence Award for Environmental activism. The first volume of the Collected Translations of Poetry, Padinjaran Kavita ( Poetry from the West) released by Mathrubhumi. Viththum Vrikshavum ( The Seed and the Tree, Selected Essays) published by Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
2013: Takes part in the Medellin Poetry Festival, Colombia, wins the first Kuvempu National Award for poetry from Karnataka, the first Kamala Surayya Award from Gulf Madhyamam, Dubai and Kerala Sahitya Parishat Award. Takes part in Kritya International Poetry Festival at Wardha, Maharashtra and Bangalore Literary Festival. New collection in Malayalam, Tathagatam published by Mathrubhumi . The Second Volume of Collected Translations of Poetry, Moonnam Lokakavita (Poetry from the Third World) released. Delivers Key Note Address in the National Seminar on ‘Literature and Other Arts’ organized by the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi. Executive Member, Sahitya Akademi. Delivers AKG Memorial Lecture at Jansanskriti, Delhi. Anubhavam, Orma, Yatra (Experience, Memory, Travel- essays and memoirs) and Sahityavum Pratirodhavum (Literature and Resistance, essays) published. Readings and discussions in Lima( Peru) and Havana (Cuba) as part of an Indian delegation of poets. Takes part in Europa Cultural Festival at Brussels.
2014: Takes part in The Hindu Lit for Life Festival at Chennai, Jury member of Hindu Fiction Award; the third volume of the Collected Translations of Poetry, Indian Kavita (Indian Poetry) and the fourth volume, Palalokakavitha released. Play Gandhi staged in 90 locations by the Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishat. Edits anthology of Indian Ocean Region Poetry, Voices from the Seashore. Misplaced Objects and Other Poems published by the Sahitya Akademi. Manppuram VCPatmanabhan award for total contribution to literature, State Bank of India Golden Award for poetry. Initiates ‘Indian Writers Forum’ along with Githa Hariharan to fight the authoritarian tendencies of the new dispensation and edits the on-line journal Guftugu.
2015: Visits Salalah, Oman as part of a writers’ delegation to take part in a literary festival organized by Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Edits Kedarnath Singh’s Selected poems in English translation, Banaras and Other Poems. Valedictory Address in the Comparative Literature Association of India’s International Conference at Jaipur on ‘Gandhi, Tagore and the Idea of India’. Third edition of Nervazhikal, (Straight Passages), anthology of modern Malayalam poetry published. Visits Doha for a literary workshop and cultural meet organized by Friends’ Cultural Centre. Muttath Varkey Award for the best Malayalam poem on language and culture in the last 25 years. Edits Shabad, anthology of world poetry and the Selected Essays of Ayyapa Paniker for Sahitya Akademi. Resigns from all the boards of the Sahitya Akademi resenting its refusal to condemn the murder of intellectuals and writers by Hindu extremists. Convener of the Hindu Fiction Prize jury. Launches Guftugu, an on-line resistance journal as the organ of the Indian Writers’ Forum and 1 Over the 8th, an on-line international poetry journal. New collections of translations in Chinese ( Tr, Baiya), Kannada and Marathi and Nilkkunna Manushyan ( The Man Who Stands), collection of new poems in Malayalam published. Nominated National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Joins the Institute in October. Selected Poems in Malayalam published by Green Books in the series ‘Priyakavithakal’ ( Much Loved Poems). Delivers TKRamachandran memorial talk at Kochi on Poetry and Resistance. Takes part in public meetings by several resistance fora. Readings of poetry in four cities( Madrid, Avila, Soria and Segovia) in Spain. Readings at the Vilenica Literature, edits the anthology of Indian poetry, Kavita for the Vilenica Festival, published in Slovenian.Festival in Slovenia.
2016: Awarded the International Poetry for Peace Prize by the Government of UAE. Collected Poems in English, The Missing Rib, published by Poetrywalla, Mumbai. Collected Poems in Malayalam ( Sachidanandante Kavithakal, 1965-2015) published by DC Books, Kottayam. Director, Kerala Literary Festival, Calicut. Delivers the third Agyey Memorial Lecture in Delhi. Takes part in the Gujarat Literary Festival, Ahmedabad, Jaipur Literary Festival, Jaipur and Samanvay Litfest in Delhi, edits Words Matter: Speaking Against Silence for Penguin-Viking. Seventieth Birthday celebrated at birth-place , Kodungallur .Takes part in the International Poetry Festival, Caracas, Venezuela, Bangalore Poetry Festival, Goa Literary Festival, Dakshinayan Resistance Conference in Goa, delivers talk on Poetry and Resistance in Goa Arts Museum. Receives V Aravindakshan Memorial Award for literature and activism. On the Jury of Saraswati Samman awarded by the Birla Foundation, Delhi.
2017: Chief Guest at the Kadambini Literary Festival in Bhubaneshwar ; takes part in the Hindu Literary Festival and chairs the Jury for the Hindu Fiction Prize, Awarded UR Ananthamurthy Puraskaram by KSSTA at Calicut, directs the second edition of Kerala Literary Festival with over 320 writers, takes part in the Poetry Carnival at Pattambi and directs a poetry translation workshop, takes part in the Kavyotsavam ( Poetry Festival) at Kanhangad and receives the Kavyotsavam Award for Poetry, receives M N Vijayan Award at Kalaripparamba in Kerala, honoured by the schools in Pulloot where he had been a student. Takes part in ‘Poetry in the Garden’ ( Poetry festival ) in Delhi, takes part in Madhyamam Litfest, Tirur, Kerala; Chief Guest at Assam Valley Award function, Gauhati; Bishop Mar Poulose Memorial Talk on ‘Secularism in the Indian Context’ in Trichur. Keynote address on ‘Literature ad Resistance’ at Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Thrissur, Hariyorma Award for Literature and Social Activism; Visits to Dubai ( twice) and Riyadh for literary conferences; Athmanam Memorial Lecture at Chennai, First Thunchath Ezhuthachan Memorial Lecture at Madras University Chennai; Erudite Lectures on Indian Literature at Sree Shankara Sanskrit University, Kalady, Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar Smaraka Puraskaram for total literary contribution at Payyannur, Kerala. Director, Kerala Literary Festival, Calicut. Several talks across the country on the dangers of communal polarisation and rising authoritarianism and intolerance in India. Collection of essays on politics and culture in Malayalam , Varoo, Ee Theruvile Raktam Kaanoo ( ‘Comeand See the Blood in the Streets’ ) pubished by Olive Books, Calicut.
2018. Published ' Dakshinam' , a book of travelogues, ' Kavitha tide Mukhangal' , essays on poetry , 'Indian Kavitayude Pratirodhaparamparyam', lectures on Indian poetry, ' Not Only the Oceans', new poems in English translation and two collections of poems for children; received Ezhuthachhan Award from the Govt of Kerala, P. GovindaPillai Award from Library Council and EKDivakaran Potti Award for translation, nominated to Sahitya Akademi Translation Centre National Committee, Saraswati Samman Award jury and to the ' Almost Island' team of writers to Hong Kong and Hang Zhou.
2018 (ADD). Published translation of Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Kavisamrat Upendra Bhanja Aard from Orissa, Chirantana Kalasamiti Award from Dubai, Indian representative at India-South Africa Dialogue in Johannesburg.
2019: Publishes five collections of poems including two for children, takes part in IPPL Poetry Festival in Kolkata, Struga Poetry Nights in Macedonia and Hongkong Poetry Festival; Tata Poet Laureate Award from Bombay, Kaliyachan Award for Poetry, Navamalayali Cultural Award, KSSF Literature Award; Jury Member, Ezhuthachan Prize and Saraswati Samman. Poetry collection published in Japanese.
2020.Two collections of poetry; first collection of short stories titled ‘Anantaram’ (Afterwards), two selections of poetry in English ,Participates on-line in Kalinga, Bhashanagar, Medellin, Chandrabhaga, Hyderabad and Jaipur literary festivals, delivers around sixty online talks, wins Mathrubhumi Literary Award and ONV Poetry Award.
2021.Selected poems published in Spanish, publishes three books of translated poetry (Kabir, Bulle Shah and Three Kannada Vachana Poets), four books in prose including memoirs; two collections in English including new poems ( Questions from the Dead), Basheer Award for the collection, Du:kham Enna Veedu ( A House called Sorrow), Kathiroor Co-operative Bank Award for Total Contribution.
2022: Takes charge as President, Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Takes part in Jaipur Literary Festival and Kolkata Poetry Conclave. Kollam Public Library Council Award, State Public Library Council Award, Ethos Literary Award, Koladi Govindan Kutty Literary Award. Translations of Shakespeare’s complete sonnets published. Poems appear in anthologies like The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Poetry, Red Hen Anthology, Future Library, The Well-Earned etc.
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