About the authorJayanta Mahapatra (1928) is a bilingual poet. He has published over 40 volumes of poetry in English and Odia, translations, short stories, essays, and memoirs, and has been featured in numerous anthologies. His first two volumes of poetry in English—Close the Sky (Calcutta, Dialogue Publication) and Svayamvara and Other Poems (Calcutta, Writers Workshop)—were published in 1971. In the late seventies, he founded and edited Chandrabhaga, a literary magazine dedicated to Indian writing. He is the first Indian poet writing in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry in 1981. He is also the recipient of the Jacob Glatstein Memorial Award for Poetry in 1975, the Allen Tate Poetry Prize from The Sewanee Review, and the SAARC Literary Award, both in 2009. He has been a Visiting Writer at the International Writing Program, Iowa City in 1976-77, and the Resident Writer at the Centre Culturale della Fondazione Rockefeller, Bellagio, Italy in 1986. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India. However, he returned the award in 2015 as a mark of protest against the growing 'moral asymmetry' in the country. In 2017, he was awarded the Kanhaiyalal Lifetime Poetry Award at the Jaipur Literature Festival. He currently lives in Cuttack, Odisha.