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Indian Poets Writing In Gujarati
Suresh Joshi, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Labhshanker Thaker, Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh and others

Suresh Joshi (1921-86) --- "The Gujarati literary scene in the ’60s and ’70s resembled a battleground of sorts, where, amongst others, two major influences could be found pitted against each other", observes Abhay Sardesai --- "an experimental and formalistically oriented literary culture had been ushered in, (mainly by Suresh Joshi, a pioneer figure in post-’60s Gujarati literature), which drew inspiration from European Modernism as well as from indigenous Indian literary traditions" and "a large body of ‘value-based’ literature developed by stalwarts like Umashankar Joshi and Sundaram, who drew on Gandhian moral ideals, nationalistic enthusiasms and traditions of bourgeois literary realism". Suresh Hariprasad Joshi was born in Valod in Surat district of Gujarat. He acquired the Master's degree and Ph. D. from Bombay University and taught in Colleges. He joined the faculty of M S University, Baroda. He edited Phalguni (1945-47), Vani (1947-51), Maneesha (1951-56), Kshitij (1961-67) and Etad,  which through the decades, separately and together, helped develop a new generation of writers such as  Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh and other younger writers who eventually emerged as major voices of Gujarati literature.  His works include Pratyancha Itara (poetry, 1961), Chhinnapatra (novel), Grihapravesh (short stories, 1957), Na Tatra Suryo Bhati (short stories), Janantike (essays, 1965), Gujarati Kavita No Asvad (literary criticism) and  Chintayami Manasa (Essays).  The awards and honours he received include Gujarat Government prizes, Soviet Land Nehru award, Ranjitram Gold Medal, Narmad Gold Medal and Nanalal Memorial prize. He declined the Sahitya Akademi award (1983) for a collection of critical essays, Chintayami Manasa, because the award / citation did not recognize his creative writing. He generated a profound modernist enthusiasm in the field and ushered in a new era in Gujrati literature. Joshi was deeply read in Eastern and Western philosophy and literature and drew on a whole repertoire of artistic strategies. "He experimented in Gujarati with cinematic montage and trompe l’oeil", observes Professor J. Birjepatil and adds, "But Joshi’s more ambitious work defies classification and requires the finely honed skills one brings to the reading of Kafka, Joyce and Borges. The necessity that drove his work was the fashioning of an interiorized private self, reaching out to a community of minds beyond regional and national boundaries. A serious reader will soon discover that because of its self-reflexive urbanity, Joshi’s fiction, not unlike Rushdie’s, generates a diasporic discursive space. And yet Gujarat and India remain the ground and horizon of Suresh Joshi’s writing." In the scenario after "the era of Umashankar Joshi", a major change in Gujarati poetry was brought by a group of the young rebels, inspired by Suresh Joshi and led by Sitanshu Yashaschandra and Labhshankar Thaker.

Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh (b. 1937) --- Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh is a painter and a poet. His collection of surrealistic poems is titled Athwa. He has also written a prose series, Ghar Jatan, and edited a special number of Kshitij. His sensibility and artworks belong very much to the Baroda School of arts. He has held many successful exhibitions in India and abroad. He was awarded the Padmashri, among other awards.

Labhshanker Thaker --- Labhshankar Thaker. Labhshanker has published several works of poetry. He received the Sahitya Akademi award (1991) for his work of poetry, Tolan Aawaz Ghunghat.

Chandrakant Sheth (b. 1938) --- Chandrakant T. Sheth  has published several works of poetry and prose. He is a recipient of the Gujarat Government Prize. He received the Sahitya Akademi award (1986) for his work,  Dhoolmani Paglio (Reminiscences).

Ramesh Parekh (1940-2006) --- Ramesh Parekh was born in Amreli. Parekh's first collection of poems, Kyan, was released in 1970. Other collections of poetry include Khading, Twa, Sanann, Khamma Ala Bapune, Mira Same Paar, Vitan Sud Bij and Chha Akhshar Nu Naam. He is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award (1994) for his work Vitan Sud Bij.  Other awards  include Kumar Chandrak (1970), Gujarat Sahitya Akademi award (1979), Narmad Suvarnchandrak (1982), Ranjitram Suvarnchandrak (1986), Sansakar Award (1988), Kala Gaurav Suvarnchandrak (1989) and Gujarat State Best Film Lyricist award (1983).

Sitanshu Yashaschandra (b. 1941) --- Sitanshu Yashaschandra  was in the academic profession and served as Vice Chancellor of Saurashtra University. He received the Sahitya Akademi award (1987) for his work of poetry, Jatayu, the National Harmony award for poetry and drama in 1996 and the Kabir Samman in 1998.

Bharat Naik (b. 1944)--- Bharat Naik holds a degree of Ph. D. He writes poetry, essays, review-articles and plays. He has edited Laghu Naval Katha, a collection of essays. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was associated with Yahom, a little magazine that devoted itself to cutting-edge creative writing.

Chandrakant Shah (b. 1956) --- Chandrakant Shah is a Boston-based Gujarati poet and playwright. He is the author of two books of poetry, Ane Thoda Sapna and Blue Jeans, and several  plays, including Master Phoolmani, Kabro, Khelaiya, Ek Hati Rupli and Eva Mumbai Ma Chal Jaiye. He has also written an English play, Mahatma.Gandhi.Com.  His work of poetry, Ane Thoda Sapna (And Some Dreams), was awarded the best collection of New Gujarati Poems published in 1992-1993 by Gujarati Sahitya Parishad.
 

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