Bimal Guha in Delhi, 2011
27 October 1952|
Chittagong, East Bengal, Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
Bimal Guha (Bengali: বিমল গুহ; born 27 October 1952) is a Bangladeshi poet, and a leading poet of his generation. He appeared on the Bangladesh literary scene in the 1970s. His themes revolve around the war of liberation and the eternal subjects of love, nature, motherland, mother-tongue, tradition, and modernity.
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Guha was born in Bajalia village under Satkania Upazila of Chittagong District. He is the eldest of four children by Prasanna Kumar Guha and Manadabala Guha. He had his early education at a local Bajalia High School and his Secondary and Higher Secondary education from 1968–70 at Satkania College. He received his MA in Bengali literature from the University of Chittagong in 1975. Later he studied publishing at Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh (Napier University), UK. He also received training in editing and publication from Philippines and Thailand. He received his PhD in modern Bengali poetry from the University of Dhaka in 1997.
Guha entered the literary arena in 1968 while he was still in school. He read the Sanchaita (collected poems) by Rabindranath Tagore during his leisure time after his secondary examination. He was inspired and began writing. His first poem, Akash (The Sky) was published in Rashmi, the Satkania college magazine, in 1969. Shortly after, his poems began to appear in different literary periodicals and literary sections of the newspapers.
His first book of poems Ahongkar, Tomar Shabdo ("Pride, Your Words") was published in 1982. His style changed and he sought new perspectives from one volume to another. The imagery, simile, metaphors and symbolism that Guha applies in his poems imply the probabilities of his speciality in creating an individualistic style in the poetic world of Bangladesh.
He has 23 books to his credit; his works include poetry, research, travelogue, edited books and 38 articles on literature and culture. Uncompromising in life-struggles, Guha never bends down to the ungraceful. He has revolting fire in himself; he struggles with quick-sand all through his life. During the 1970s, especially after the liberation war, many transformed Bangladesh poetry into a newer consciousness and human rejuvenation, and developed the expression of art to arrest time and space into a newer vision; Guha is remarkable among them. He is associated with many literary and cultural organisations including the Bangladesh Writers Club, Editing and Publication Association of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh and Bangla Academy.
Poet-Critic Shudhasattwa Bose of West Bengal, India remarked- "Since the seventies, poems developed a newer feelings and understanding, poetic diction has changed, delivery of words and phrases has totally changed overnight. It has started a new without touching the old totally. We can take references from Bimal's poems".
Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam has described in an introductory note- "Bimal Guha's poems are about the problems of our time, more particularly about the difficulties of adjustment that a feeling and thinking individual faces in an increasingly alienating world. As values are forgotten or become obsolete, and relationships become problematic, individuals have to struggle to cling to their dreams. Guha writes movingly about love which can offer a way out but which is constantly thwarted by a mechanical universe. Guha also writes about the need for social change. What makes his poems remarkable is his crisp style which both invokes the rich tradition of the 1930s and charts its distance from it. His diction is personal, contemporary and colloquial. His poems are indeed records of a creative pursuit that excels when it find challenges".
He married Meena Guha in 1980 and they have three daughters. Guha began working at the University of Dhaka in 1979, and now heads an administrative office.
- Ahongkar, Tomar Shabdo (1982)
- Sanko Par Hole Kholapath (1985)
- Swapne Jwale Shartohin Bhor (1986)
- Bhalobasar Kobita (1989)
- Poetry (1989)
- Nasto Manush O Onnanno Kobita (1995)
- Pratibadi Shabder Michhil (2000)
- Nirbachito Kobita (2001)
- Selected Poems of Bimal Guha (Tr. Siddique Mahmudur Rahman) (2010)
- Amra Rayechhi Mati Chhunye (2011)
- Prottekei Prithok Biplobi (2015)
- Biborer Gaan (2015)
- Megh Gurgur Bishti Namey (2000)
- Aguner Dim (2001)
- Chadai Chhana (2002)
- Shada Megher Bhela (2008)
- Tupur o Charka Budi (2013)
- Kishor Kobita Sangraha (2014)
- Ohidul Alam : Life and Literature (1999)
- Adhunik Bangla Kobitay Lokojo Upadan (2001)
- Onno Deshe Onno Bhubane (2008)
Awards and honours
- Young Writer National Literary Award for poetry by Ministry of Information, Govt. of Bangladesh (1979)
- Kingbadontir Amra National Literary Award for poetry (1385 Bangla Era)
- Bangabandhu Memorial Award (2000)
- Palal Prokashani 50th Birth Anniversary celebration (2002)
- Poet-Celebrity of Bangladesh Writers' Club (2002)
- Shilpa O Sahitya (literary journal) ed.Ferdous Salam, Vol.2, no.1, Oct. 2002, Special issue on Bimal Guha
- Bimal Guha: Kobi-O-Kobita, a book ed. Farook Mahmud & Khan Mahbub, Palal Prokashani, Dhaka, Oct. 2003
- Faridpur Nirnoy Shilpigoshthi Gold Medal (2008)
- Poet Jibanananda Das Award (2009)
- Sahityo Academy, New York City Honour (2012)
- Palal Prokashani 60th Birth Anniversary celebration (2012)
- Sufi Motahar Hossen Literary Award-2009 (2013)
- Foreword by National Professor Kabir Chowdhury, Selected Poems of Bimal Guha, Shamabesh, Dhaka, ISBN 978-984-8866-02-3, pp ix,.
- Preface by Siddique Mahmudur Rahman, Selected Poems of Bimal Guha, Shamabesh, Dhaka, ISBN 978-984-8866-02-3, pp xii,.
- The International Directory of Distinguished Leadership, 8th Ed., The American Biographical Institute Inc., North Carolina 27622, USA, pp 78.
- Ekok (monthly journal) edited by Shudhasattwa Bose, vol. 44 no 1, 1392 (Begali Era).
- Introduction by Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, Selected Poems of Bimal Guha, Shamabesh, Dhaka, ix ISBN 978-984-8866-02-3.
- In Conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah by Ahmede Hussain, Jan 22, 2007
- "Poet Bimal Guha Award" (PDF). Newsletter. Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-04-30.