Gopi Krishnan Kottoor
Biography of Gopi Krishnan Kottoor
Gopikrishnan Kottoor is an award winning Indian English poet, novelist and playwright.
Early Life and Education
Kottoor won the Philip McCormick scholarship of the Texas State University, Southwest Texas, USA and attended the Master of Fine Arts (Poetry) program of the University with a Teaching Assistantship in the Department of English of the University during the year 2000.
In 2005, Kottoor was Poet-in-Residence in the University of Augsburg, Germany, on a sponsorship by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations,(ICCR) in association with Tagore Centre, Berlin, Germany. Kottoor was invited to read from his translation of the 15c Bhakti poet Poonthanam's Gyanappana (The Fountain Of God) at the University of Vienna, Austria, in the same year.
To quote eminent poet-critic Ayyappa Paniker about Kottoor, ‘a poet who has discovered his own voice distinct from that of his ancestors or his compeers’. His poetry, known for its ‘rich visual imagery embalmed with feeling’ has won him accolades both in his home country and abroad.
Kottoor is perhaps best known for his work, Father, Wake Us In Passing, a poem sequence on his father in coma, and dying. The German translation of this poem by the German poet Wolfgang Heyder (b.1956) appeared as a Laufschrift Book edition, Fürth, Germany,(Vater, wecke' uns im Vorübergehen') in 2004.
Gopi Kottoor won both the All-India Special Poetry Prize of the British Council-Poetry Society, India All India Poetry Competitions (AIPC) in 1997 for his poem These are the things we could talk about as also the Second Prize for his poem Digging in the General Category of the Competition in 1997. Between 1995 and 1998, he won three more major poetry prizes presented by the British Council -Poetry Society India sponsored All India Poetry Competitions (AIPC).
Writing to him soon after he won his poetry prizes, the leading poet Jayanta Mahapatra,and editor of Chandrabhaga, who was also a part of the jury wrote to him saying:
"You write exceptionally well.... My admiration grows for you for your poems".
Kottoor's poetry has appeared in a wide range of journals, including: The Illustrated Weekly of India, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Thought, Literary Half-Yearly, Kavya Bharati, Ariel (University of Calgary, Canada), Lipi and Chandrabhaga (Ed: Jayanta Mahapatra), Toronto Review, Plaza, Persona (Texas State University Journal).
His poems have featured in the Special Editions on Contemporary Indian Poetry in English brought out by the poetry journals: Verse, (Seattle) USA and Fulcrum, (USA).
Kottoor's plays include The Mask of Death, a radio-play on the dying days of the Romantic poet John Keats in Rome, and 'Fire In The Soul', a play on the life and times of the Nationalist rebel poet of India, Subramania Bharati,which won the Bharati award in 1995.
He recently brought out his latest book of poems Victoria Terminus, Poems selected and new (Authors Press New Delhi, 2010). Works in progress include Angel's In My Garden, A fictitious novel on the life and prison times of an incarcerated fashion designer.
His recent poems can be read at Nthposition online, UK.
Kottoor edits a poetry quarterly 'Poetry Chain' and presently lives in Mumbai, India, where he works with the Reserve Bank Of India.
He also edits the popular website for Poetry, PetrychainOnline (India).
Gopi Krishnan Kottoor's Works:
Piccolo, Milestones to the Sun, Sunbirds In The Rain, Nirvana and Other poems, Rev: Father Benedict Goes To Heaven and Other poems, Father, Wake Us In Passing, Mother Sonata, A Buchenwald Diary (Poems following a visit to Buchenwald Concentration camp, Weimar, Germany)
Victoria Terminus, Poems Selected and New.
A Bridge Over Karma (Katha Distribution, New Delhi).
"A New Book of Indian Poems In English" (Editor).
Poonthanam's Jnanappana (Fountain of God), Kukoka's Rati Rahasya as (Love's Ecstasies).
Wander from the Great Wide Wander Galaxy (Fantasy).
The Mask Of Death (The last days of John Keats), Fire In The Soul ( The Life and Times of the Nationalist Poet Subramania Bharati).
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Gopi Krishnan Kottoor Poems
The Coffin Maker
The coffin maker is a happy man now More and more orders keep coming in.
We used to sit Around the red teak table With the Book Of Knowledge Open with its picture Of Africa.
The soil I now pick contains fragments of the dead. They once saddened and happied themselves here
My Daughter Reports A Senior's Suicide
Why dear, I ask her. In my mind, somebody fallen in love Has been jilted.
The Waters Of The Ganges
Have these waters of the Ganges been flowing down the memory for small change?
The soil I now pick
contains fragments of the dead.
They once saddened and happied themselves here
turning to the sun and moon, quite puzzled
then taking things as they came,