Gopi Kottoor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gopikrishnan Kottoor

Gopi K Kottoor is the pen name of Raghav G. Nair (born 1956, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), an award winning eminent Indian English poet. He is best known for his internationally acclaimed poem Father, Wake Us In Passing. He also the founder editor of the quarterly poetry journal Poetry Chain.

Early life and education[edit]

Kottoor won the Philip McCormick scholarship of the Texas State University, Southwest Texas, USA and attended the Master of Fine Arts (Poetry) program of the University with a Teaching Assistantship in the Department of English of the University during the year 2000.

In 2005, Kottoor was Poet-in-Residence in the University of Augsburg, Germany, on a sponsorship by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations,(ICCR) in association with Tagore Centre, Berlin, Germany. Kottoor was invited to read from his translation of the 15c Bhakti poet Poonthanam's Gyanappana (The Fountain of God) at the University of Vienna, Austria, in the same year.


In the words of eminent poet-critic Ayyappa Paniker, Kottoor is "a poet who has discovered his own voice distinct from that of his ancestors or his compeers." His poetry, known for its rich visual imagery embalmed with feeling has won him accolades both in his home country and abroad.

Kottoor is perhaps best known for his work, Father, Wake Us in Passing, a poem sequence on his father in coma, and dying. The German translation of this poem by the German poet Wolfgang Heyder (b. 1956) appeared as a Laufschrift Book edition (Vater, wecke' uns im Vorübergehen)in Fürth, Germany in 2004. This work is peerless in its genre[1] in Indian English writing and has received rave reviews in India and abroad ever since it was first published.[2]

Gopi Kottoor won both the All-India Special Poetry Prize of the British Council-Poetry Society, India All India Poetry Competitions (AIPC) in 1997 for his poem These are the things we could talk about as also the Second Prize for his poem Digging in the General Category of the Competition in 1997.[3] Between 1995 and 1998, he won three more major poetry prizes presented by the British Council – Poetry Society (India) sponsored All India Poetry Competitions (AIPC).[4] [5]

Writing to him soon after he won his poetry prizes, the leading poet Jayanta Mahapatra,and editor of Chandrabhaga, who was also a part of the jury wrote to him saying

"You write exceptionally well.... My admiration grows for you for your poems".

Kottoor's poetry has appeared in a wide range of journals, including : The Illustrated Weekly of India, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Thought, Literary Half-Yearly, Kavya Bharati, Ariel (University of Calgary), Lipi and Chandrabhaga (Ed : Jayanta Mahapatra), Toronto Review, Plaza, Persona (Texas State University Journal). His poems have featured in the Special Editions on Contemporary Indian Poetry in English brought out by the poetry journals: Verse, (Seattle) US)and Fulcrum, (USA).

Kottoor's plays include The Mask of Death, a radio-play on the dying days of the Romantic poet John Keats in Rome, and 'Fire in the Soul', a play on the life and times of the Nationalist rebel poet of India, Subramania Bharati,which won the Bharati award in 1995.

VrindavanThe Coloured Yolk of Love on Radha-Krishna (2012) is his latest collection of poems.

His recent poems can be read at Nthposition online, UK.[6]

Kottoor edits a poetry quarterly 'Poetry Chain' and presently lives in Trivandrum, Kerala India, where he works with the Reserve Bank of India as Deputy general manager.

He also edits the popular website for Poetry, PoetrychainOnline (India).[7]



  • Piccolo
  • Milestones to the Sun
  • Sunbirds in the Rain
  • Nirvana and Other poems
  • Rev: Father Benedict Goes To Heaven and Other poems
  • Father, Wake Us In Passing,(Vater, Wecke Uns Im Vorübergehen – German, Laufschrift 2004) [8]
  • Mother Sonata
  • A Buchenwald Diary (Poems following a visit to Buchenwald Concentration camp, Weimar, Germany)
  • Victoria Terminus, Poems Selected and New.[9]
  • Vrindavan – The Coloured Yolk of Love[10]
  • Tell Me Neruda[11]


  • A Bridge Over Karma (Katha Distribution, New Delhi) Karmathinu Mele Oru Palam (Translation, Malayalam, Moosakutty).
  • Presumed Guilty[12]
  • Hill House (A View From West Hill)


  • Fire in the Soul – The Life And Times of Subramania Bharati
  • The Mask of Death – The Final Days of John Keats
  • A Women in Flames


  • Jnanappana (Poonthanam) as Fountain of God[13]
  • Rati Rahasya (Kukoka) as Love's Ecstasies


  • The Twelve Petals of Enlightenment (Param Hans)


  • Wander From The Great Wide Wander Galaxy (Fantasy)


  • Poetry Anthology (Editor) "A New Book of Indian Poems in English"(Poetry Chain and Writers Workshop Calcutta)
  • Poetry Chain – A Poetry Quarterly since 1997[14][15]

Reviews on Indian English Poetry

Literature Arts and Culture

Online References[edit]


  1. ^ "Review in The Hindu dated 15 July 2001". Chennai, India. 15 July 2001. 
  2. ^ "Review – "Father Wake Us in Passing"". 
  3. ^ "All-India Poetry Competition, 1997". IndiaStar Review of Books, July 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "All-India Poetry Competition, 1998". IndiaStar Review of Books, July 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "All-India Poetry Competition, 1995". The Poetry Society India 1995. Retrieved 25 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Nthposition". nthposition, July 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "PoetryChainIndia". webs, July 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "World Literature Today Oklahoma University USA"., July 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2001. 
  9. ^ Srilata, K. (6 May 2010). "In the dying Light". Chennai, India: The Hindu, July 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Varma, Shreekumar (1 July 2012). "Where the mind is without rein". Chennai, India: The Hindu, July 2012. 
  11. ^ Mohanty, Sachidananda (2 May 2015). "Meditations on life". Chennai, India: The Hindu, May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Behind the scenes". Deccan Herald, July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Transcreating Poonthanam". Chennai, India: The Hindu, June 2002. 27 August 2002. 
  14. ^ "A Platform For Poets". The New Indian Express, June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chain the friends of verses". Chennai, India: The Hindu, July 2013. 2 July 2013.