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India-born Poet Vijay Seshadri Wins Pulitzer
Apr 18, 2014

India-born poet Vijay Seshadri has won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems 3 Sections. The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music were announced by Columbia University.

Vijay Seshadri's '3 Sections' is a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.

The prize for the poetry category was given for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author.

Born in Bangalore in 1954, Vijay Seshadri came to America at the age of five and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. A Columbia University alum, Vijay Seshadri would receive $10,000 reward. He currently teaches poetry and non-fiction writing at Liberal Arts College Sarah Lawrence in New York.

His collections of poems include James Laughlin Award winner The Long Meadow and Wild Kingdom (1996). His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in The American Scholar, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, the Times Book Review, and in many anthologies, including Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets, Contours of the Heart, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, and The Best American Poetry 1997 and 2003.

  • Vijay Seshadri is the fifth person of Indian origin to bag the prestigious award,
  • The first was Gobind Behari Lal in 1937. A science editor, he was awarded the Pulitzer in the reporting category for his coverage of science at the tercentenary of Harvard University.
  • Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri got Pulitzer for fiction in 2000 for her collection of stories Interpreters of Maladies.
  • Journalist-writer of Indian origin Geeta Anand was the next to get the award. She was the investigative reporter and feature writer for the Wall Street Journal and won the award in 2003 for "clear, concise and comprehensive stories that illuminated the roots, significance and impact of corporate scandals in America".
  • Indian-American physician Siddhartha Mukherjee's acclaimed book on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer in the general non-fiction category.

Pulitzer Prize: A US Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize. It allocated $250,000 to the prize and scholarships. He specified four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships. After his death, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on June 4, 1917; they are now announced every year in April.

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