Brazilian honour for Bihari poet Abhay
Poet Abhay K is elected as a corresponding member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil
Brasília: The Academy of Letters of Brazil (ALB ) in a Plenary Session held on January 19, 2023, ratified the election of poet-diplomat Abhay K. as a foreign corresponding member of the Academy.
Speaking on the occasion Marcos Freitas, the President of the ALB said—“India, the cradle of World Literature, has always been a source of wisdom and fruitful exchanges with Brazil. Following this tradition, Abhay K., even before his arrival as a diplomat in Brazil, edited CAPITALS – an anthology of poems on 185 capital cities of the world (Bloomsbury), which included a poem on Brasilia. During his diplomatic mission in Brazil as India’s Deputy Ambassador (2016-2019), he organized the monthly literary event Chai com Letras (Tea with Letters), where he brought together poets and writers from Brasília and other cities in Brazil.
Abhay K. also edited and translated “New Brazilian poems—A bilingual anthology after Elizabeth Bishop” (Ibis Libris 2019), which presents the work of 60 Brazilian poets in English translation. This landmark anthology is a continuation of the work of Elizabeth Bishop, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.”
ALB like the French Academy of Letters has 40 active members, who are elected by their peers. The Academy has already had great names in Brazilian Literature in the past such as Ledo Ivo, and Almeida Fischer, among others. Its membership currently includes noted writers such as Anderson Braga Horta, Fabio Lucas, Flávio René Kothe, Ruy Espinheira Filho, Paes Loureiro, and Antonio Miranda, among others.
Similar to the French Academy of Letters, the ALB has in its statute the possibility of having up to 20 foreign corresponding members. They include renowned foreign writers, and representatives of World Literature, especially those who have a special relationship with Brazilian Culture and Literature.
In the election process, they need to be nominated by at least 5 active members and approved by the General Assembly, by a majority of voters. Abhay K. (India), Indran Armirthanayagam (Sri Lanka/USA) and Alfredo Pérez Alencart (Peru/Spain) are the first 3 elected to compose the board of foreign corresponding members.
During his stay in Brazil, Abhay K. also wrote a collection of poems on Brazil’s capital-Brasilia, titled, The Prophecy of Brasilia (Colletivo Editorial, 2018), and a collection of poems on Latin America titled, The Alphabets of Latin America (Bloomsbury India). His edited volume 100 Great Indian Poems was translated into Portuguese and was published by the University of São Paulo as 100 Grandes Poemas da India. He also wrote an article highlighting the work of Brazilian poet Cecelia Meireles who visited India in 1953 and wrote a book of poems on India.
Abhay K. received SAARC Literary Award in 2013 for his contributions to South Asian Poetry and is the author of a dozen poetry collections and editor of half a dozen books including The Book of Bihari Literature (HarperCollins India).
– global bihari bureau