1. Ashok Vajpeyi (Hindi) born 1941) is an Indian poet in Hindi, essayist, literary-cultural critic, apart from being a noted cultural and arts administrator, and a former civil servant. He was chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s National Academy of Arts, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, 2008–2011. He has published over 23 books of poetry, criticism and art, and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award given by Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, in 1994 for his poetry collection, Kahin Nahin Wahin. His notable poetry collections include, Shaher Ab Bhi Sambhavana Hai (1966), Tatpurush (1986), Bahuri Akela (1992), Ibarat Se Giri Matrayen, Ummeed ka Doosra Naam (2004) and Vivaksha (2006). Besides this he has also published works on literary and art criticism: Filhal, Kuchh Poorvagrah, Samay se Bahar, Kavita ka Galp and Sidhiyan Shuru ho Gayi Hain.
2. Sugatha kumari ( Malayalam ) is an Indian poet and activist, who has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala, South India. She is an established writer in Malayalam with a unique voice of her own emotional empathy, humanist sensitivity and moral alertness. She is one of the famous environmentalist of Kerala. She was deeply influenced by her poet father’s social activism and nationalistic fever. She was a founder of Prakriti Samrakshana Samithi. And she established an organisation name Abhaya, a home for destitute women and a day-care centre for the mentally ill. Most of her poetic works had a special place for Mother Nature and some of them delved on human relationships and emotional traverse of the mind. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She was the former chairperson of the Kerala State Women’s Commission. She has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala. Her parents were the poet and freedom fighter Bodheswaran and V K Karthiyayini, a Sanskrit scholar. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She formed Abhayagrama, a home for destitute women (Athani) and a day-care centre for the mentally ill.
3. Prabha Varma -Poet, littérateur, journalist and editor who works with traditional as well as electronic media, lyricist, student activist – Prabha Varma has been all of these. He has a master’s degree and a degree in law. As a poet, Jnanpith award winner Prof. O. N. V. Kurup complimented him saying “He has inherited the subtle poetic richness of the eminent poet Vyloppilly sreedhara Menon, who himself picked up the quality from Kumaranasan’. The late Prof. M. Krishnan Nair, an eminent critic, wrote ‘Prabha Varma is a born poet’. His poems are composed of a confluence of tradition and modernity. They have soft romantic emotions, a plethora of poetic images, original and innovative narrative skill, philosophical insights, and a deep understanding of the meaning of life. Prabha Varma is an Academy award-winning poet in Malayalam, He also works as the Resident Editor of the daily Desabhimani. The multi-faceted littérateur has published nine collections of poems, four books on the contemporary socio-political milieu and literature, four collections of essays in criticism, a study on the media, and a travelogue.
4. Kamal Vora is a Gujarati language poet and editor from Mumbai, India. He is an editor of Etad, a quarterly Guajarati literary magazine. He was born in 1950. Since 2010, He co-edits, with Naushil Mehta, a Gujarati quarterly journal Etad, founded by Suresh Joshi. He is also a member of the Gujarati advisory board of Sahitya Akademi. His poem started appearing in magazine from 1971. His first anthology of poem Arav was published in 1991, followed by Anek Ek (2012) and Anekanek (2014). His poems have been translated in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada and English and appeared in Indian Literature, Chicago Review, Anthology of Asian Poets, Muse India etc. He received Sahitya Akademi Award (2016) for Gujarati for his book Anekanek (2014). His book Arav was recipient of the Umashankar Joshi award. He has also written few short stories.
5. Madhusoodhanan Nair is a well-known Malayalam poet, scholar, and teacher, well accepted nationally and by Keralites, who popularised poetry and endeared it even to the illiterates and children. While the most popular poem from him is the Naranath Bhranthan, he has many more touching and strong poems to his credit. A professor by profession, he has held many eminent positions by virtue of his knowledge and position in society. As a poet, his major works include-Naranath Bhranthan, Bharatheeyam, Gandhi, Ammayude Ezhuthukal, Agasthya Hrudayam, Nataraja, Punyapuranam Rama Katha, Seethayanam, Vaakku, Akatharu Puratharu, Ganga, Sakshi. He got Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, for his collection of poems titled Naranathu Bhranthan.
6. Sreekumaran Thampi (Malayalam) (born 16 March 1940) is a lyricist, director, producer, and screenwriter in Malayalam cinema. He also writes poetry and is a recipient of the prestigious Vallathol Award.Kerala State Film Awards:1971 – Best Lyricist (Film -Vilakku Vangiya Veena),2011 – Best Lyricist (for the film, Naayika).
7. Hemant Divate is an internationally known Marathi poet, editor, publisher, and translator. His two poetry collections in Marathi, Chautishiparyantchya Kavita (Poems Till Thirty-Four) and Thambtach Yet Nahi (Just Can’t Stop), proved to be path-breaking in the Marathi literary landscape. His poems have been translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Urdu, Arabic, Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. His second book of poems in English translation, A Depressingly Monotonous Landscape, is just published. Hemant has won several prestigious awards, including the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award (Kolkata, India) and the Maharashtra Foundation Award (USA). He has presented his poetry in many national and international poetry and literature festivals (Europe, Latin America and Asia) and is an advisor to many literary magazines in India. He is the founder-editor of the prestigious Marathi little magazine Abhidhanantar, which saw uninterrupted publication for 15 years. Abhidhanantar has been credited for giving a solid platform to new poets and for enriching the post-nineties Marathi literary scene with amazing talent and great poetry.
8. Neela Padmanabhan ( Tamil) was born in Kanyakumari District. He obtained a B. Sc in Physics and a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University. He worked in the Kerala State Electricity Board till his retirement in 1993. His first noted work was the novel Thalaimuraigal. He has written 20 novels, 10 short story collections, 4 volumes of poetry and 7 essay collections in Tamil. In Malayalam, he has published a novel, four short story collections and a single essay collection. Besides Tamil and Malayalam, he also has a few English works to his credit. During 1985-89 he was the Tamil editor at Sahitya Akademi and was the convener of the Akademi’s Tamil advisory board during 1998-2002. In 2007, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for his novel Ilai uthir kaalam (lit. Autumn). He had earlier won the Akademi’s award for translators in 2003 for his translation of Ayyappa Paniker’s works into Tamil. In 2010, his novel Thalaimuraigal was made into a Tamil film titled Magizhchi (lit. Happiness). His most noted work is his novel Pallikondapuram.(lit. Where the Lord sleeps). He currently lives in Thiruvananthapuram.
9. Anitha Thampi- was born in 1968 and is based at Thiruvananthapuram, the southern tip of India, in the state of Kerala. She has been publishing poetry in Malayalam since 1987 and her first collection of selected poems, Muttamadikkumpol (Sweeping the Front yard), was published in 2004. Her second collection, Azhakillaathavayellam (All that are bereft of beauty), followed in 2010. Her translations include the work of Australian poet Les Murray, published in a bilingual edition in 2007. Her own work has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish and Indian languages: Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Assamese, Oriya, Gujarati. She currently lives in Mumbai where she is working as a research scholar at IIT Bombay. Anitha was invited by the Exchange to participate in creative translation workshops organised as part of Wales Arts International/British Council’s Writers’ Chain project in 2011.
10- Sarabjeet Garcha is a bilingual poet and an editor, translator and publisher. He is the author of three books of poems, including Lullaby of the Ever-Returning (Poetrywala, 2012) and a collection in Hindi, besides two books of translations. He was selected to serve on the Panel of Critical Readers for the third edition of Garner’s Modern American Usage (Oxford University Press, 2009) and received a fellowship in Hindi literature (2013-14) from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, under which he completed a comparative study of post-1990 Marathi and Hindi poetry. His work has appeared in various online and print journals, including The Vocabula Review, Foundling Review, Indian Literature, The Dhauli Review, Earthen Lamp Journal, Modern Poetry in Translation and the Hindi literary magazine Pahal. Sarabjeet is the chief editor of a publishing company specializing in scientific, technical and medical books. He is also the co-founder and editorial director of Copper Coin, a multilingual publishing company. He lives in Delhi NCR.
11. N Sukumaran ( Tamil ) was born in Coimbatore in 1957. He is an acclaimed poet, translator, writer and editor and currently resides in Thiruvananthapuram. He has published 6 volumes of poems, 6 volumes of essays and articles and a novel in Tamil. He has translated several works including selected works of eminent writers such as Vaikkam Mohammed Basheer, Zachariah, K. Satchidanandan, Adoor Gopalakrishnan from Malayalam into Tamil. He has also translated works of Pablo Neruda, Gunter Grass, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alessandro Barrico, Ayfer Tunc and others from English into Tamil. The translated works have been published in 15 books.
12-Anwar Ali –Poet, Translator, and documentary Filmmaker, he has been contributing poems and poetic studies in leading literary journals and periodicals of Kerala since 1984; Mazhakkalam (The Rainy Season), 1999, his first collection of poems established him as one of the prominent voices in contemporary Malayalam poetry; his poems have been translated into various Indian and forien languages and are included in several anthologies of Malayalam as well as Indian poetry of the post-modern phase. His other important works include Atiyaati Alanja marangale (Ye Trees, Swaying Ramblers), collection of poems, 2009, Eternal Sculptures, Poetry Collection in English, 2007, and, I Rappai, Novella, 1995. He has translated the English version of Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window, 1994, the renowned Japanese work, into Malayalam and has co-translated Oru Gramathile Nadi (A river in a village), 2010, the poetry Collection by Sirpi Balasubrhamaniam, the renowned Tamil poet, with Abdul Jaleel; also translated a series of modern Anglophone African poems and poems from other Indian languages like Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, and Assamese into Malayalam. Maruvili (Call from the Other Shore) produced under the banner of Image Commune(2015), his debut documentary film on Attoor Ravi Varma, the renowned Indian Poet writes in Malayalam, is a notable work in the genre of Biopic and selected for IDSFFK,2015 (International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala) MIFF,2016 Mumbai International Film Festival and SIGNS Festival,2015. He has co-written the scenario of Margam (film)(2003), an internationally acclaimed Malayalam feature film, co-produced a documentary series on the history of Malayalam cinema for Doordarshan, India (1995–97) and wrote for Saasthra Kouthukam, the popular science programme in Doordarshan, India (1991-1995), on behalf of C Dit Centre for Development of Imaging Technology. Also wrote a number of scripts for C Dit documentaries.
12- Jayant Parmar is an Indian Urdu language poet known for raising Dalit issues in his poetry. Parmar was born in a poor family. At a young age, he began to paint miniature paintings for a frame maker. Parmar realized that the frame maker had a separate pot for him because he was Dalit. This saddened Parmar and he quit. Parmar taught himself Urdu from a language learning guide at age 30 after he developed an appreciation for Urdu poetry while living in a Muslim-dominated area in the walled city area of Ahmedabad. He has published three poetry collections: Aur in 1998, Pencil Aur Doosri Nazmein in 2006, and Manind in 2008. Parmar won the 2008 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for Pencil Aur Doosri Nazmein.
13-Kilimanoor Madhu –One of the senior poets in Malayalam with National reputation. Has been translated to all Indian Languages including English, Simhala, Japanese, French and Spanish. Traveled exclusively the country as part of his research on senior fellowship awarded by Govt. of India. Translated many Indian language poems to Malayalam and translated world poems from Chinese,Japanese, Russian, Persian, French in different
14-Savithri Rajjivan– is noted Malayalam poet and short fiction writer, based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She holds a post-graduate degree in Malayalam literature from the University of Kerala and another from the MS University, Baroda, in fine art criticism. She has taught art history in the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanksrit, Kalady, and is currently an advisory board member of the Central Sahitya Akademi for Malayalam. Widely anthologized, she has published a volume of short fiction and four collections of poetry, most recently Ammaye Kulippikkumbol in 2014.Savithri Rajeevan is a noted Malayalam poet and short fiction writer, based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She holds a post-graduate degree in Malayalam literature from the University of Kerala and another from the MS University, Baroda, in fine art criticism. She has taught art history in the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanksrit, Kalady, and is currently an advisory board member of the Central Sahitya Akademi for Malayalam. Widely anthologized, she has published a volume of short fiction and four collections of poetry, most recently Ammaye Kulippikkumbol in 2014.
15- Meera Nair is a media professional. She is currently employed with Mathrubhumi News. She holds a post graduation in Management from IFMR, Chennai, following which she worked in the corporate sector. Later that she took up a course in journalism at the Press Club, Thiruvananthapuram and graduated with a gold medal. Meera has always engaged in creative writing. Her short stories and poems have been published in various journals and have won her numerous prizes. Her first book of poems, won her the second place at the Muse India Young Writers Award 2015. She writes for online portals and used to freelance for The Hindu. Her second collection of poems, ‘Poetry Vending Machine’ was released recently. Meera is a trained classical dancer. She is married, lives in Thiruvananthapuram and is the mother of two boys.
16-Ra Sh (Ravi Shanker N) has published English-language poems in many national and international online and print magazines, such as Kindle magazine, the German online journal STRASSENSTIMMEN, Indian Literature published by Kendriya Sahithya Academy and Countercurrents among others. His poems have been translated into German and French. Fifteen of his poems appear in an anthology, A Strange Place Other Than Earlobes, published by Sampark, Kolkata that featured five Malayali poets writing in English. His sole collection of poems, Architecture of Flesh, was also published by Poetrywala, Mumbai, in December 2015. His translations into English include Mother Forest (the biography of C. K. Janu) and Harum-Scarum Saar and Other Stories(stories by Tamil writer Bama), both published by Women Unlimited, Delhi; and Waking is Another Dream (Sri Lankan Tamil poems translated along with Meena Kandaswamy), published by Navayana, Delhi. Ra Sh translated and edited translations of thirty-seven young Malayali poets for RædLeafPoetry-India in 2015. He has also translated for Dalit Anthologies published by OUP and Penguin-India. Ra Sh is a columnist for onmanorama, the English News portal of Malayala Manorama.
17 – Shyam Sundar-bilingual poet who writes in English and Malayalam. Born in 1983 at Vadanamkurussi, a village in Kerala, India, he was educated in Thrissur and Chennai. Syam has been widely published, has performed readings at home and abroad, and has won a number of awards. His poems have been translated into Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and French. He has five collections to his credit, Earpam (Damp) 2001, SyamSudhakarKavithaikal (Poems of SyamSudhakar) 2008 [Tamil Translation], Drenched by the Sun (2013), Slicing the Moon (a bilingual video) 2013, and AvasanatheKollimeen (The Last Meteor) 2014. After completing his Doctorate at the University of Madras, Syam is currently based in Kerala, researching, and teaching English Literature.
18- Gopikrishnan Kottoor-Award winning poet. Winner, special poetry prize (special category), second prize, “(Gen category), and commendations,, 1995,1997,1998All India poetry competitions, poetry society India,and British council, MFA poetry, at San Marcos, Texas. Us in 2001, poetry residencies in us and Europe. Published in most major journals in India and abroad as illustrated weekly, opinion, quest, Chandra bagha, nth position online, orbis, Plaza, New English review Sean review, chairusco, Ariel, Toronto review and others. Anthologies, blood axe, verse, Seattle, fulcrum and others. Founder poetry chain.
19-Indira Sadanandan -Poet, Write, translator. she is author of three books , one in Malayalam, “ Mazhakkadukal”and two in English, “ I am iiithe Sea” and “ Soliloquy” She is ready with her more books to be printed. She is attached to kritya for more than three years as Translator of international poets. She is MA in English and MPhil in labour studies. Her address is Krishna Bungaow, Kazhakuttam. PO, Trivandrum 0 695582.
20-Sarala Ram Kamal- loves to be known as a poetry lover than a poet. She is a bilingual poet writes and translates in English and Malayalam. She has her poems published in many international anthologies like Vibrant Voices (Indo-Australian anthology), Scaling Heights, Resonance, The Significant Anthology, Umbilical Cords, Epitaph, Chants of Peace etc. a few to be named. A DAISY Technology trainer for visually challenged, she works as a freelance graphic designer.
21-Abhilash Babu –Poet, translator and Abhilash Babuscreenplay writer. Research Scholar in English at the University of Kerala. ‘Platoyude Koodu’ and ‘Karikal Manushya Kathanugayikal’ are anthology of poems by him.
22- Babitha Marina Justin took her PhD in travel writing and gender studies from the University of Hyderabad and an M Phil in Art and Aesthetics from the School of Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.Since then she has been teaching in the Northeastern Hill University, Meghalaya and Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Department of Space. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals and her first collection of poems Of Fireflies, Guns and Hills and Other Poems will be published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata. (2015)
23-Rajan Kailas is malayalam poet..born in Alappuzha dist of Kerala..writing poems and related articles in leading journals in malayalam… published three books..namely. insights.2.path of bulldozers..3..shade of a single leaf..4th book in English (translated poems) is in process… received so many awards in which important ones are manveeyam prize from Abudhabi kerala social centre….and Dr.K.Damodaran award…some poems were translated and published in Hindi and English journals… Now residing in trivandrum after getting voluntary retirement from bank job.
24-Dr. Rosy Thampy– Hails from Thrissur district, Kerala. A prolific writer, Associate Professor and rosyHead of the Malayalam Department at Sacred Heart College Chalakkudy. She is a Research Guide of Kannur University in Malayalam at the Kerala Sahithya Academy. Some of her prominent works are “Bibilum Malayalavum”, “Sthrainathayude Aathmabhashanangal”, “Sthraina Aathmiyatha”, “Marangal Daivathinte Prathichayakal” etc.
25-Pooja Sagar is a writer and an academic. She currently leads the Creative Writing Program at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore where she teaches creative and critical writing. Her practice intersects with academics, art and literary borders, draws from and contributes to all of them simultanelously. Her ongoing writing project is a documentation of her experiences of motherhood, gender and body in a well-liked and lovable series on Medium.
26-Chandramohan S is an Indian English Dalit poet and literary critic based in Trivandrum, Kerala. He is part of the P.K. Rosi Foundation, a cultural collective (named after the legendary, pioneering Dalit actress) that seeks to de-marginalize Dalit-Bahujans. His poems were shortlisted for Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2016. His second collection of poems is titled “Letters to Namdeo Dhasal” is just published. A few of his poems have been used at many protest in addition to being anthologized in LAND: An Anthology of Indo-Australian Poetry (edited by Rob Harle) and 40 poets under 40 (edited by Nabina Das and Semeen Ali).
27-Dr. C. Udayakala who lives in Thiruvananthapurm, is an eminent poet and orator. She writes for the protection of women and nature. She is also a social worker. She is a Professor in the All Saints’ College, Thiruvananthapuram. She has won her Doctorate on “Poetry of Vallathol, an Aesthetic Study” from Kerala University. She has written about 8 books. She has won many awards including the Govindha Rachana Puraskaram 2016, Mathrubhumi Study Circle award and so on.
28 Meena Sureesh
***This is the primary list, some more national poets can be part of the fest, if we get the support from local culture bodies and Sahitya Akademi for the travel expense of the participant poets.