The 93-year-old Malayalam poet, Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri, shortly called as Akkitham, has won the Jnanpith award on Friday.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh in addition to a sculpture. In his long years of creativity, Akkitham has penned hundreds of poems. In addition, he also jotted down short story collections, essays and plays. He is the sixth Malayalam writer to win the prestigious award.
His collection of poems, ‘Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam’ (Epic of the 20th Century), is considered as the pioneer work that heralded modernism in Malayalam poetry. As he is an advocate of love, his peom interspersed with philosophy also. He argues for a universal love.
The nonagenarian’s well-known works were recently translated into English and published as ‘Selected Poems of Akkitham - from God’s Own Country’.
Other Malayalam writers who had won Jnanpith award include G Sankarakurup, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, SK Pottekkad, MT Vasudevan Nair and ONV Kurup.
He has won many awards and titles including honours from the Kerala Sahitya Academy and the Kendra Sahitya Academy. In 2017, he was bestowed with the Padma Shri.
Some of his well-known works include Akkithathinte Thiranjedutha Kavithakal (Akkitham’s Selected Poems), 1985, Sparsamanikal - Collection of poems, 1991, Balidarsanam - Narrative poem, 1970,
Anaswarante Ganam, Idinjupolinja Lokam - Collection of poems, 1961
Akkitham Kavithakal – Complete Poems, 2002 and Anthimahakalam – Collection of poems, 2007.