Poet Abhay K at El Rosedal de Palermo, Buenos Aires
|Alma mater||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|Occupation||Diplomat, Poet, Artist|
|Known for||Poetry,Earth Anthem,SAARC Anthem,Digital diplomacy|
Abhay Kumar/Abhay K (Hindi: अभय कुमार) (born 1980) is an Indian poet-diplomat. His books include The Seduction of Delhi among others. His writings cover poetry, art, memoir, global democracy and digital diplomacy. He wrote the Earth Anthem and the South Asian Anthem spurring search for an official SAARC Anthem.
He received the SAARC Literary Award for his contribution to contemporary South Asian Poetry and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2013. In 2011, he also received the Gov 2.0 award on behalf of the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs. He has been featured as a nominee on the longlist of the Forbes India 100 Celebrity list and has been honoured with Asia-Pacific Excellence Award in 2014. His The Seduction of Delhi was shortlisted for Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015. He is a contributing writer to the Silk Routes Project of the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa.
Abhay was born and raised at Chhabilapur near Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar. He studied at the Kirori Mal College Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2003. He studied Russian language, history and literature at the Moscow State University, Nepali language at the Tribhuvan University, U.S. Foreign Policy at the George Washington University and how writers write poetry at The International Writing Program, The University of Iowa.
Abhay K is one of the literary flag-bearers of contemporary Indian poetry. He features among five Indian poets everyone should know about. Major Indian poet Jayanta Mahapatra thinks "qualities of love, tenderness and compassion set Abhay K's work apart from much of the general run of current poetics." As per the Hindu Book Review- "Abhay K.'s words don’t sit outside and observe. They dig in, making their subject their home, and then they turn outwards, watching the landscape, the people, the city, change." His poetic works startle and heal and give humanistic outlook to Indian English Poetry making subtle use of metaphor and imagery. His first book was River Valley to Silicon Valley(2007). As an editor, he has edited a special edition of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review on Contemporary Indian Poetry in English and an anthology of poems on capital cities of the world. He also co-founded the Poetry at the Monument poetry movement.
His poems have appeared in several magazines and literary journals including Poetry Salzburg Review, The Asia Literary Review, The Caravan, The Missing Slate, The Stony Thursday(Ireland), Mud Season Review (USA), The Galway Review, Eastlit Kavya Bharati, Sarasvati Quarterly (UK),Big Bridge Anthology of Indian Poetry, Şiirden (Turkey), The Byword, The Long Exposure Magazine(UK), The Seventh Quarry (UK), Drunk Monkeys (USA) Chiaroscuro London An Gael, New York, Indian Literature, Pratilipi Muse India, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review and Kritya among others. Wasafiri quarterly notes Kumar's absence from the HareperCollins anthology of English poetry stating "The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry does miss out on Agha Shahid Ali, the poet-diplomat Abhay K and Nabina Das."
His Nalanda poems evocatively recount fall and rise of Nalanda . His poem "Foreign Service" is a take-off on Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" summarizing diplomatic careers. while the poem "Gogol" alludes to the works of the writer Gogol such as "The Nose", "The Overcoat", "Nevsky Prospect", Dead Souls and The Government Inspector. His poem "Ghalib" is a glimpse of tragic life of poet Ghalib. Kumar's poems have been translated into Irish by Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock and in Russian by noted Russian poet Andrei Rodossky, in Turkish by noted Turkish poet Müesser Yeniay, in Slovenian by Slovenian poet Katja Gorečan, in Italian by Italian poet Franz Laszlo Melas, in Chinese by Chinese poet Arthur Zhang, in Nepali by Nepalese poet Kishore Nepal, in Portuguese by Brazilian poets Antonio Miranda and Marcos Freitas and in Spanish by Spanish poet Alicia Silvestre Miralles. He said in an interview to Alok Mishra, "Poetry for me is what the soul is for the body. I read and write poetry to satisfy my spiritual hunger." His poems have been read aloud by actresses Hazel Keech, Reecha Sharma, Priyanka Karki, models Sahana Bajracharya, Talia Bentson, Nagma Shrestha, actor Rajesh Hamal, poets K.Satchidanandan A. J. Thomas, and Helena Sinervo.
At Literature Festivals
Kumar has read his poems at major literature festivals including at a poetry evening hosted by the Governor of Goa along with Keki N. Daruwalla, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Ranjit Hoskote, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Mamang Dai etc. during the Goa Art and Literature Festival 2014, at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 with Lionel Fogarty, Fady Joudah among others, at Mountain Echoes Literature Festival, Thimphu, Bhutan., Casa de Literatura, Lima, Peru, and at the Festival of Indian Poetry in Buenos Aires. On this occasion he was interviewed by Argentina´s leading daily Tiempo Argentino.
He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his three poems ‘What's a Beach’, ‘Masseur’ and ‘Everything has Secrets’. He was also awarded SAARC Literary Award for his contribution to South Asian poetry.
The Seduction Of Delhi
Kumar's collection of poems The Seduction of Delhi became a bestselling poetry book after its launch in January 2015. It was released by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra at the Jaipur Literature Festival. T.S. Eliot Prize winning poet George Szirtes writes about The Seduction of Delhi- "One may visit a city and one may live in it. To experience it as a presence and as a history is more than either and to experience it as poetry is sublime. This is a beautiful way to be introduced to a great city as both specific and essence."
He is currently editing a global anthology of poetic-portraits of about two hundred capital cities of the world and is also the guest-editor of the special issue of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review on contemporary Indian English Poetry.
In 2013 Kumar released Earth Anthem, a song intended as an anthem for the planet Earth, written by him in eight languages including six official UN languages — Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian and Spanish — as well as Hindi and Nepali. It was set to music by Sapan Ghimire and sung by Shreya Sotang from Nepal. It has been translated into 26 languages including Tamil, Hindi, Nepali, Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Turkish, Arabic, Estonian, German, Bhasa, Czech, Japanese, Tibetan,Slovenian, Montenegrin, Kazhak, Khmer and Uzbek and has received acclaim and is being used by CBSE.
In 2014, Kumar suggested that UNESCO stage a global online competition to establish an official anthem for the planet, but the organization felt unable to conduct a global competition due to its "limited financial and human resources". The Permanent Delegation of India, Paris had recommended Kumar's proposal of an official anthem for UNESCO's consideration.
Abhay wrote the SAARC Anthem in Bengali, Dzongkha, Maldivian, English, Hindi, Nepali, Pashto, Sinhalese, and Urdu, in an attempt to attempts to foster South Asian consciousness and bring the member states of SAARC together. It has spurred discussions on the need for an official SAARC Anthem. Columnist Stanley Weiss hopes that the South Asian leaders will choose to move forward in the words of the SAARC Anthem. Nepal's foreign minister has expressed the need for a SAARC anthem to connect SAARC nations. SAARC Anthem was to be played at the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi in presence of the SAARC leaders. Nepal at the 18th summit in Kathmandu in November 2014 is planning to introduce proposal for a SAARC Anthem in the agenda of summit when heads of all member states meet here. The song penned by Abhay K may become SAARC Anthem. Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt have praised SAARC anthem.
Kumar is an Indian Foreign Service officer and has served in positions at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of the government of India and at the Indian missions and posts abroad in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kathmandu. At the MEA headquarters in New Delhi he served as the Under Secretary Digital diplomacy and sent the first tweet after setting up official Twitter account of the Ministry of External Affairs of India in 2010. He served as the spokesperson of the Embassy of India, Kathmandu from 2012-2015. He was appointed as the Director of the Nehru Centre, London in March 2015. Subsequently, he was appointed as India's Deputy High Commissioner to Australia in August 2015. He currently serves as India´s Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
He was also assistant editor of India Perspectives, a monthly magazine published by the Ministry of External Affairs in 17 languages from September 2011 to July 2012.
Kumar's art work focus on planetary consciousness. He has exhibited his paintings in St. Petersburg, Paris and New Delhi. His art has received good reviews. Poetry-paintings of Abhay K and Italian artist Tarshito exhibited at the National Academy of Art, New Delhi highlight Delhi's glorious past.
Awards and recognition
- 2016: Listed Among 15 Noted JNU Alumni Who Have Proudly Represented India Nationally & Internationally
- 2015: His book The Seduction of Delhi was shortlisted for Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015.
- 2015: Invited as a speaker at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 with major international poets
- 2014: Featured in Forbes India Celebrity 100 Nominees longlist 2014
- 2014: Asia-Pacific Excellence Award
- 2013: SAARC Literary Award - Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature
- 2013: Nominated for the Pushcart Prize
- 2012: Received 1st Class diploma from the Steiglitz Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg for his exhibition We are different, We are together.
- 2012: 1st Prize by the Amity School of Business, Noida, India for the case study Digital Revolution and Business at the 8th Renvoi, an International Management Case Study Competition
- Enigmatic Love (Bookwell|2009)
- Fallen Leaves of Autumn (ArtXpress|2010)
- Candling the Light(Yash|2011)
- Remains (HarAnand|2012)
- The Seduction of Delhi(Bloomsbury|2014)
- The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu
- Uttering Her Name by Gabriel Rosenstock (Salmon Ireland)into Hindi|2015
- Anthology of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (Enchanting Verses Literary Review|2016)
- CAPITALS (Bloomsbury|2016)
Books Translated In Other Languages
- Jatra (Kathalaya|2015|Nepali)
- Zapelzivost Delhija (2015|Slovenian)
- V Put Ot Rechnoi Dolini (2008|Russian)
Poems in Anthologies
- East by South East (Harper Collins| 2016)
- Poets’ Travelogue: The Grand Indian Express (Blue Lotus|2016 )
- Contemporary Indian Poetry (Enchanting Verses Literary Review |2015)
- Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry (Big Bridge|2015)
- Journeys Along The Silk Road (The Lost Tower, UK, 2015)
- Poets Of India (Seventh Quarry, Wales, UK, 2014)
- The Dance of the Peacock (Hidden Brooks, Canada 2013)
- Harmonious Palette(Russia, 2011)
- Inclinations (USA, 2008)
- A Moment of Deja Vu (Forward Press, UK 2007)
- Natural Spirit (Forward Press, UK 2006)
- River Valley to Silicon Valley (Bookwell|2007), republished as Becoming A Civil Servant (Kalinjar|2015)
- 10 Questions of the Soul (2010)
- Colours of Soul (Cvet Dushi) (2011)
- Indian English Poetry
- List of Indian poets in English
- Earth Anthem
- SAARC Anthem
- Indian Foreign Service
- Nehru Centre, London
- UNESCO finds Indian poet-diplomat's idea of an Earth Anthem inspiring, Business Standard, 27 Feb 2014
- Unesco lauds Indian poet's idea of earth anthem, The Times of India, 28 February 2014
- The Seduction of Delhi Archived 26 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Jaipur Literature Festival website, January 2015
- Diplomat Abhay K's 'The Seduction of Delhi' launched at Zee Jaipur Literature Festival DNA, 23 January 2015
- The Hindu Literary Review 2007 The Hindu, 5 August 2007.
- Pen Drive, The Indian Express, 22 Nov 2012
- "The Poetic Side of Indian Diplomats", The Times of India, 25 August 2012
- Public Diplomacy Division Receives Gov2.in 2011 Award Deccan Herald, 12 March.
- "Better with verse" The Hindu, 2 November 2011.
- "Indian Diplomat's Paintings on Show", indusage.com.au, 29 April 2011
- "Indian Diplomat turned artist presents his work on planetary consciousness" Yahoo, 27 April 2011
- ANI Archived 4 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine., 4 June 2012
- "Indian Diplomat pens anthem for Earth" The New Indian Express, 5 June 2013
- "Inspiring Earth Anthem" The Himalayan Times, 9 June 2013
- "UNESCO to consider making Earth Anthem by Indian diplomat a global initiative", Business Standard, 26 June 2013
- UN to consider "Indian diplomat's song as a global initiative", The Economic Times, 26 June 2013
- "Indian poet-diplomat pens S.Asian anthem after Earth anthem success" ANI, 27 November 2013
- "Indian diplomat's poem spurs search for SAARC anthem", Hindustan Times, 9 January 2014
- "Poet Abhay K wins SAARC Literature Award", Hindustan Times, 14 March 2013
- "Five writers honoured at the SAARC Literature Festival", PTI, 11 March 2013
- "IFS officer nominated for coveted Pushcart Prize", 2 December 2012
- MEA's Public Diplomacy Division gets coveted Social Media Award, ANI, 11 March 2011
- Forbes India Celebrity 100 Nominees List for 2014, Forbes India, 12 December 2014
- Asia-Pacific Excellence Award to Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K, ANI, 14 October 2014
- Poet-diplomat Abhay K's 'The Seduction of Delhi' shortlisted for Muse India award, Business Standard, 11 Nov 2015
- Abhay K.|Silk Routes University of Iowa Website, Sept. 2016
- "Diplomat-writer, who pens verse", The Tribune, Chandigarh, 16 December 2012
- University of Iowa 's certificate in Poetry to Abhay K, Issuu, 25 June 2015
- Five Literary flag-bearers, Indian Poetry has been benefiting from INVC, 28 November 2014
- Voices and Visions in Indian Poetry in English after 1980s Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. LITSEARCH Vol.II Issue No.II, ISSN 2277-6990 June 2012
- The Pigeon, 25 March 2016
- Diplomat Abhay K's book 'The Seduction of Delhi' to be launched at Jaipur Literature Festival DNA, 10 January 2015
- Free-flowing verse The Hindu, 4 April 2015
- Poetry at Sangam, November 2014
- "Contemporary poets, storywriters to exhibit their oratory skills at Sahitya Akademi", Yahoo News, 2 May 2011
- "Young Indian poets, storywriters mesmerize audience with their skills"
- "‘Diplomat poet’ creates rhymes from life" Millennium Post, 1 July 2012
- Review of The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India by Rob Harley, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Issue XIX, November 2013, pages 34-35
- A promising new edition of Indian poetry in English edited by Abhay K launched Business Standard, 23 November 2015
- "Take it in a word" The Hindu, 12 May 2012
- Poetry Salzburg Review Issue 30 PSR website, Issue 30, Autumn 2016
- The Asia Literary Review Issue 31, August 2016
- Dara Shikoh and other poems
- Ghalib The Missing Slate, 11 February 2014
- POETRY: ISSUE #17 Mud Season Review, February 2016
- Abhay K- Four Poems The Galway Review, June 26, 2016
- National Chorten & In Punakha Dzong East Lit, December 2015
- Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II Big Bridge, 2015
- Boudhanath The Long Exposure Magazine, June 27, 2015
- Three Poems by Abhay K Drunk Monkeys, August 27, 2015
- THE IRON PILLAR OF DELHI' AND OTHER POEMS Chiaroscuro, June 2014
- Poems of Abhay K. translated into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock An Gael, Samhradh 2014
- Poems of Abhay K in Indian Literature, June-July 2012
- [pratilipi.in/2013/01/abhay-k-poems/Possesed Idiots and Deadly Demons]Pratilipi, January 2013
- Kritya Poetry Journal
- Poetic License Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Северная Аврора № 12, 2010. Абхай КУМАР
- Review of HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Roomy Naqvy Wasafiri Reviews Volume 28,Issue 3, 2013, 19 August 2013
- Nalanda Poems, Poetry at Sangam, November 2014
- "Foreign Service Poem" Diplomat Magazine, London, 23 January 2013
- "Possessed Idiots and Deadly Demons" Pratilipi, December 2012
- "Ghalib" The Missing Slate, 11 February 2014
- Dornán Dánta le Abhay K Rogha Gabriel 13 January 2014
- Il letterato Franz Laszlo Melas, 5 February 2015
- The International Poetry Translation and Research Centre Website, 18 November 2014
- Website of poet Antonio Miranda, 13 April 2016
- The Booksmovie 3 April 2016
- "Interview with Alok Mishra for Ashvamegh Journal" Ashvamegh Journal
- Poems of Abhay K Read Aloud
- K. Satchidanandan reads poems of Abhay K, 15 Nov 2011
- A.J. "Thomas on Abhay K's new book Candling the Light 15 Nov 2011
- Helena Sinervo reads Abhay K 19 September 2013
- ‘Hindi, local languages have a bright future in changing India’ The Times of India, 8 Dec 2014
- JLF Program 2015 Archived 28 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Jaipur Lit Fest website 21 January 2015
- Kavita Nirantar, Poetry 24x7 JLF YouTube Channel 25 January 2015
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-09-06. Mountain Echoes Literature Festival website, August 2015
- "Young Indian poets mesmerize audience with their skills"
- "Sikkim Akademi hosts literary interaction programme"
- Kritya.in Kritya, 6 October 2013
- ANI 14 September 2013
- Diálogo y lecturas de poemas con el poeta indio Abhay Kumar Website of Casa De Literatura, Peru, May 1, 2016
- Poeta indio Abhay Kumar en Casa de la Literatura Peruana La Republica, Peru, May 5, 2016
- Peru gets a taste of India Business Standard, May 8, 2016
- Argentina has enshrined fond memories of Tagore The Times of India, June 14, 2016
- Buenos Aires to get a taste of Indian poetry The Indian Express, June 10, 2016
- Cuando me miro en el espejo, puedo ver a Jorge Luis Borges, Tiempo Argentino June 25, 2016
- IFS officer nominated for Pushcart Prize The Hindu,3 December 2012
- Abhay K's 'The Seduction of Delhi' becomes bestseller poetry Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. ANI, March 30, 2015
- The Seduction of Delhi launched by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra at Jaipur Lit Fest Archived 23 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. ANI, 11 January 2015
- Poems on Delhi The Rising Nepal Friday Supplement,page 3, 19 Dec 2014
- ‘Seduction of Delhi’, a fascinating combination of poetic verse and drawings Financial Express, 27 July 2015
- Book Review : The Seduction of Delhi The Times of India, 6 August 2015
- Now, go on a 'Jatra' of poems on Nepal IANS, April 23, 2015
- Vice President of Nepal releases Abhay K's collection of poems ANI, April 22, 2015
- Indian diplomat contributes to Nepal tourism through poems Business Standard, 2 August 2015
- Can you write a poem about Canberra? Australian Poetry, 2014
- Poet-diplomat Abhay K to be guest editor of Enchanting Verses YahooNews, March 21, 2015
- ICCR website, June 2013
- "Indian diplomat in Nepal pens the Earth Anthem" IANS, 27 June 2013
- CBSE Website,6 October 2013
- "UNESCO lauds Indian poet's idea of an Earth Anthem". The Times of India. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "UNESCO finds Indian poet-diplomat's idea of an Earth Anthem inspiring". Business-standard.com. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- UNESCO Lauds Indian Poet's Idea of Earth Anthem Outlook, 28 Feb, 2014
- Indian diplomat pens "SAARC Anthem" NDTV, 3 December 2013
- The Hindu, 4 December 2013
- Indian diplomat's poem spurs search for SAARC anthem Hindustan Times, 9 January 2014
- The Most Important Regional Organization That Nobody Has Heard Of The Huffington Post 12 May 2014
- Nepal foreign minister expresses need for an anthem to connect SAARC nations Business Standard, 6 June 2014
- SAARC Anthem to be played at Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony DNA, 25 May 2014
- Will SAARC have an anthem like ASEAN? Hindustan Times, 3 November 2014
- Song penned by Indian may become SAARC anthem The Sunday Guardian,16 August 2014
- Pooja-Mahesh Bhatt praise SAARC anthem The Himalayan Times,06 August 2014
- "A diplomatic web", The New Indian Express, 5 August 2011
- "Poke your Babus Online" The Times of India, 26 March 2011.
- Nepal Rations Fuel as Political Crisis With India Worsens The New York Times, 28 September 2015
- India appoints poet-diplomat as Nehru Centre Director in UK Business Standard, March 26, 2015
- Abhay K. to head Nehru Centre in London The Hindu, March 28, 2015
- Abhay K appointed India's Deputy High Commissioner to Australia Archived 2 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. ANI, 28 September 2015
- "In the Service of the Nation", M.Y.O.D. 12 April 2012
- India Perspectives, ISSUU 16 August 2012
- Indian Diplomat turned Artist presents his works on Planetary Consciousness, ANI, 28 April 2011
- "We have come far", Indrus, 15 April 2011
- Art exhibition "We have come far" by Abhay Kumar opened at RCSC, rusembassy.in, 15 April 2011
- "A second Life". Indian Express. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- Artists highlight the glory of Delhi through poetry-paintings, Business Standard, 16 September 2014
- 15 Noted JNU Alumni Who Have Proudly Represented India Nationally & Internationally www.scoopwhoop.com ,26 February 2016
- Speakers for 2015 Jaipur Literature Festival website, January 2015
- Poet Abhay K wins SAARC Literature Award Archived 15 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine., IANS, 14 March 2013
- "First Class Diploma to Abhay Kumar from the Steiglitz Academy of Art, St. Petersburg". Issuu.com. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- "1st prize awarded to Abhay Kumar by Amity School of Business". Issuu.com. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- "Enigmatic Love". Issuu.com. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Fallen Leaves of Autumn". Issuu.com. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Candling the Light". IBNLive. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- "Diplomat Abhay K. releases his new book Remains". Indian Express. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- "Dream WINDOW". The Hindu. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- Contemporary Indian English Poetry Enchanting Verses Literary Review, November 2015
- "10 Questions of the Soul". Issuu.com. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Цвет души". Issuu.com. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Voiceless people, monuments, and places: Erin Post interviews Abhay K Mud Season Review
- Cuando me miro en el espejo, puedo ver a Jorge Luis Borges Tiempo Argentino
- A Journey of thoughts with Abhay K on India's National Channel DD National
- Interview of poet Abhay K. to India's National TV Channel DD National
- Poetry reading at Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 Poetry 24x7 Start at 9 MinJaipur Literature Festival
- The Seduction of Delhi: Exhibition to take Delhi landmarks to Italians, Hindustan Times
- The poet-diplomat, The Republica
- Of poetry and passports, The Hindu
- Diplomat delights with poetry of promise, The Times of India
- Abhay Kumar releases Candling the Light, Hindustan Times
- Earth Anthem: A Film by Abhay K., ANI
- Earth Anthem by Abhay K.
- MEA churning out diplomats-turned-authors with alacrity, Business Standard
- Diplomat Abhay K. releases his new book Remains, Indian Express
- UNESCO lauds Indian poet's idea of Earth AnthemThe Pioneer