Tata Literature Live! 2018: Mark Tully conferred with Lifetime Achievement, Jayanta Mahapatra named Poet Laureate
The recipients of the awards, Sir Mark Tully and Jayanta Mahapatra have made extensive contributions to literature; Tully with several popular works on India and Mahapatra with his lyrical verses, some of which are regarded as classics in modern Indian English literature
Tata Literature Live! has conferred the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on acclaimed author and veteran journalist Sir William Mark Tully with Jayanta Mahapatra being named the Poet Laureate at the literary festival.
A recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan among other honours, Tully was knighted in 2002. He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1964 and was later appointed the Chief of Bureau in Delhi. After serving on this position for 20 years he resigned in 1994 and had since then been working as a freelance journalist. He has authored several books on India, No Full Stops in India being one of his prominent works.
"The poet John Donne said, 'No man is an island.' No winner of a lifetime award should ever forget that. I remember how much I owe to others, to what I have been given by God, to sheer good luck, and of course to India," he said. "So I see this award as given not just to me but also to the BBC and for all those journalists in India and back in BBC headquarters who I relied on," he added.
Mahapatra, who took to poetry at a later stage in life, is a graduate in physics and was a teacher until his retirement. He came to be known for his lyrical verse in India and the world over and was the first Indian poet writing in English to have been bestowed with the Sahitya Akademi award. His works like Indian Summer, Relationship and Hunger are now regarded as classics in modern Indian English literature.
The Tata Literature Live! Mumbai LitFest, set to go on from 15 to 18 November, will present Mahapatra with the Poet Laureate award on 18 November at the awards ceremony while Tully will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award on 16 November, both at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai.
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