Questions from the Dead


153 mm × 229 mm
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K. Satchidanandan

K. Satchidanandan (b.1946) is a bilingual poet, critic, playwright, editor, fiction writer and travel writer. He has thirty collections of poetry in Malayalam, nine in English and thirty-three in other languages, including Arabic, Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, besides all major Indian languages. He has won fifty-two literary awards, including the National Academy Award, Dante Medal from Italy, Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate Award, five awards in five genres from the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, besides the topmost awards for poetry and overall literary contribution from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra. He has read his poetry and lectured at several festivals and book fairs in over thirty countries in six continents. His latest books of poetry in English include While I Write (HarperCollins), Misplaced Objects and Other Poems (Sahitya Akademi), The Missing Rib, Not Only the Oceans (Poetrywala), The Whispering Tree, No Borders for Me (Hawakal) and Singing in the Dark (ed. with Nishi Chawla; Penguin Random House). Positions, his selected essays on Indian literature, was published by Niyogi Books in 2020 and a collection of resistance writing, Words Matter, edited and introduced by him, came out from Penguin Random House in 2018. Satchidanandan lives with his family in Delhi. 

‘Satchidanandan’s poetry is a lyre with many chords: it may seem light with joking tunes, it can be harsh and nearly cruel: sometimes it seems to unite all these characteristics together, especially when his poems have the form of a dialogue.’

Antonio Menniti Ipplito

‘In Satchidanandan, one notices a great modernity, a chosen but simple terminology of immediate understanding, something like a non-rhetorical dialogue with himself and with the reader, a wealth of symbology, a fascinating smoothness of the verses, a subtle irony.’

Carlo Savini

‘These are poems of great strength and power, a moving tribute to the generation in which we live.’

Jayanta Mahapatra

‘This is a dark, powerful, pulsating collection of poems, the effect of which continues to reverberate, disturb and shock one out of one’s complacency long after one has finished reading them.’

The Hindu

‘Satchidanandan’s poetry is an irresistible mix of the real, surreal, intellectual, sensual, and spiritual. Satchidanandan does not shy away from asking deeper existential questions—of being, freedom, love, compassion, nature, language and death.’

Shanta Acharya, Modern Poetry in Translation

‘K. Satchidanandan is definitely not a poet who keeps aloof from the world. He is a poet on a journey. Poetry for him is a cry against all walls . . . It is his cosmopolitanism that makes Satchidanandan interesting beyond India.’

Wolfgang Kubin

‘K. Satchidanandan belongs to the whole world since he sets before us wisdom and humour and the shock of surprise.’

Alan Titley

‘Satchidanandan is an important global poet. He distils and expresses humanity in a voice that is at once local and universal, individual and everyman’s. He is also a major English-language poet, due to the sterling quality of his self-translations from the original Malayalam. His poems are of perennial import; they sustain the spirit, speaking with equal eloquence to the mind and the heart.’

Philip Nikolayev


K. Satchidanandan

1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680 [email protected]

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