The prestigious Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019 has been conferred on renowned writer, translator, journalist, film critic, screenwriter and playwright Shanta Gokhale. The Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate for 2019 is K Satchidanandan, one of India’s leading poets. Both these awards recognise an exceptional body of work which has made a significant impact in the Indian literary field.
The Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Shanta Gokhale on 17 November at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. K Satchidanandan will be honoured as this year’s Poet Laureate on 14 November at the same venue.
On receiving news of the Award, Shanta Gokhale said, “Frankly, the lifetime achievement award came as a huge surprise to me. Had someone been wielding the proverbial feather when Anil Dharker gave me the news, they could have knocked me down with it. It was the strangest feeling to know that, while you were enclosed in your own world, writing and translating — not always for money or even for publication, but out of an inner compulsion and for your own pleasure — you were actually making sense to others whose opinion you held in high esteem. What a happy thought that was. And how humbling.”
Accepting the Poet Laureateship, K Satchidanandan said, “I deem it a privilege to be honoured as Poet Laureate of the ‘Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest’ this year. I am all the more happy and humbled when I think of the poets who have been found worthy of this honour earlier whose contributions to Indian poetry have been matchless. That I am a poet who writes poetry originally only in my mother tongue, Malayalam – though a good part of the oeuvre is now available in English and quite a few other Indian and foreign languages – adds to the joy of this national recognition which tends to elude, or comes late to, such poets. I greet all the future laureates waiting to be discovered by discerning minds”.
Festival Founder and Director, Anil Dharker said, “We are delighted and privileged that on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, Indian literary greats Shanta Gokhale and K Satchidanandan have accepted our awards and will be gracing Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest with their presence. Shanta Gokhale’s scholarship, versatility and felicity of language is legendary. K Satchidanandan is a pioneer of modern poetry in Malayalam and his powerful and perceptive verse has gained him global renown. It is a happy coincidence that they are both also skilled translators, thereby extending their and others’ writings to a larger audience. Shanta Gokhale and K Satchidanandan both exemplify intellect, wit and grace. We are delighted to welcome them at the Festival.”
Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons said, “It is a privilege to present the Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award to Shanta Gokhale, an award-winning novelist, translator, playwright, scriptwriter and teacher – indeed, she is a pillar of Mumbai’s creative community. In addition, it gives us immense pleasure to confer the recognition of Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate this year to Prof K Satchidanandan – a renowned poet, critic and a translator as well as a pioneer of modern poetry in Malayalam. At the Tata Group, we salute the incredible contribution of these two stalwarts to Indian literature, and for having created such beautiful bodies of work, which have added so much value to our society.”