Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

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Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (born 1947[1]) is a noted Indian poet, anthologist, literary critic and translator. Mehrotra is widely recognized for extending the Indian English language poetry tradition, established by figures such as A.K. Ramanujan, Nissim Ezekiel, Dom Moraes and Arun Kolatkar. Mehrotra's poetry contained in collections such as Middle Earth, Nine enclosures and The transfiguring places are considered significant contributions to Indian English poetry, and are noted for their innovative exploration of modern concerns and ways of representation. Mehrotra's work has been wide ranging, including both traditional forms and unconventional techniques. Mehrotra's occasional literary experimentation, emphasizing a variety of perspectives, has made his work a part of modern Indian English poetry.


Arvind Krishna Mehrotra was born in Lahore in 1947. He has published five collections of poetry in English and two of translation — a volume of Prakrit love poems, The Absent Traveller, recently reissued in Penguin Classics, and Songs of Kabir (NYRB Classics). His Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets (1992) has been very influential. He has edited several books, including History of Indian Literature in English (Columbia University Press, 2003) and Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar (Bloodaxe Books, 2010). His collected essays, Partial Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History was published by Permanent Black in 2012. He was nominated for the chair of Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford in 2009.[2]

Arvind Mehrotra stood for this temporary academic position at the University of Oxford. He came second behind Ruth Padel who later resigned over allegations of smearing Derek Walcott (who had himself earlier withdrawn from the election process).[3]


Poetry Collections[edit]

  • Mehrotra, A. K. (1984). Middle earth. Three crowns books. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (1976). Nine enclosures. Bombay: Clearing House.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (1982). Distance in statute miles. Bombay: Clearing House.
  • Mehrotra, A K. (1998). The transfiguring places: poems. Delhi: Ravi Dayal Publisher.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (2014). Collected Poems 1969-2014. Delhi: Penguin India.

Edited Books[edit]

  • Mehrotra, A. K. (2003). History of Indian literature in English. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (1992). The Oxford India anthology of twelve modern Indian poets. Delhi: Oxford University Press. excerpts
    • Translated into German as Mehrotra, A. K. (2006). Indische Dichter der Gegenwart eine Anthologie englischsprachiger Lyrik Indiens. Heidelberg: Verl. Das Wunderhorn.
  • Weissbort, D., & Mehrotra, A. K. (1993). Periplus: poetry in translation. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (2007). The last bungalow: writings on Allahabad. New Delhi: Penguin Books.


  • Hāla, & Mehrotra, A. K. (1991). The Absent traveller: Prākrit love poetry from the Gāthāsaptaśatī of Sātavāhana Hāla. Delhi: Distributed by Orient Longman.
  • Mehrotra, A. K. (2011). Songs of Kabir. New York: NYRB Classics.

Editor of Literary Magazines[edit]

  • damn you/a magazine of the arts. Allahabad, India: 1964-1968.
  • Ezra. Bombay, India: Ezra-Fakir Press, 1966-1969.
  • Fakir. Bombay, India: Ezra-Fakir Press, 1966.

Secondary Works on Mehrotra[edit]

Among the published works giving an analysis of his poetry are:

Bruce King, (1987, revised edition 2001) Modern Indian Poetry in English. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

He is interviewed in the following works:

  • De Souza, E. (1999). Talking poems: conversations with poets. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ Biography at Poetry International Web.
  3. ^ "Arvind Mehrotra loses Oxford's Professor of Poetry election - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 

External links[edit]