Bangalore based writer-artist, Prashant Parvataneni, was awarded with the 11th Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2019 at Hyderabad Literary Festival 2020 on 25 January, 2020.

Prashant is an independent writer and artist. He is part of a collective called “brown-study” which works towards developing forms of thinking and experimenting with artistic texts and experiences. As a researcher and translator, he also works with the Kabir Project, an online archive of poems from Sufi and Bhakti traditions, at Srishti Institute of Art. His articles on art and cinema have appeared in several magazines and journals including seminar, The Bangalore Review, and Deep Focus Cinema. He teaches short and long-term courses on literature and cinema in colleges in Bangalore.

The ceremony began with Prashant reading from the Rayaprol-Williams letters. Later, addressing the ceremony he said, “It’s an honour for me to receive this prize. I have always had a keen interest in understanding the place of art in life and politics. It is my firm believe that poetry, art and literature can change the world. With this belief, I collaborated with group of artists and researchers and started Brown Study. Under this initiative, I am currently working on Kabir Project which deals with archiving Sufi and Bhakti songs.”

This award is instituted every year by University of Hyderabad and Srinivas Rayaprol Literary Trust to recognize excellence in the field of poetry. The winner is chosen from 170 shortlisted poets in age group of 20-40 years, from across the country.

The award was presented by Graziano Kratli, Librarian at Yale University  along with Professor Anna Kurian, head, Department of English, University of Hyderabad and Professor Aparna Rayaprol, from the Rayaprol family. The ceremony was also presided by writer Jerry Pinto and two former winners Debarshi Mitra and Aishwarya Iyer.

-Soumya Sharma, Department of Communication, UoH