Utpal Kumar Basu

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Utpal Kumar Basu and Sankha Ghosh

Utpal Kumar Basu (উৎপল কুমার বসু[1]) (August 3, 1939 – October 3, 2015) is a Bengali poet and story teller.


Born in Bhowanipore area of pre-independence Kolkata(1939), Utpal Kumar Basu[2] spent his school days in Baharampur (Murshidabad,West Bengal)and Dinhata (Coochbehar,North Bengal). A geologist by education, Basu has traveled far and wild over the seas and years. An educationist by profession, Basu is recognized as a trend setter in modern Bengali Poetry. He died on 3 October 2015 in Kolkata.[3]


[4] Utpal Kumar Basu is a Bengali poet and story teller who started his literary journey in the city of Kolkata in 1950s. From the very first collection published (Chaitrye rochito kobita,1956), he found a unique diction of language, expression and form for his poetry.He had chosen mysticism over sentimentalism,[5] vivid objective observation over lyricism .Being a geologist by education he is known for his witty but meticulous approach towards the nature, objects and life, which may seem to be similar to that of a scientist.[6]

Utpal Kumar Basu

Second and third collection of poems by Utpal Kumar Basu, namely Puri Series(1964) and Abar Puri Series(1978) presented an astonishing new diction to Bengali literature, which are popularly referred as Famous Travel Poetry Of Utpal. Be its form or content, uniqueness in those poems has created perhaps the most valuable impact on modern Bengali poetry over the years .In the decades to follow those two brief collections of poems by Basu have resulted a no return turn in contemporary Bengali poetry and it has been recognized as a benchmark by the younger generation of poets to follow.But Utpal Kumar Basu kept on experimenting with his form and language . According to him -"The evolution of form has to be rapid and continuous , whereas the concept evolves slowly,may be once in a century .(ধূসর আতাগাছ )"

Utpal Kumar Basu eventually met American poet Allen Ginsberg in Kolkata in the early sixties and both shared a great friendship . Basu connected himself with Hungry generation literary movement[7] in 60s and was compelled to resign from his job as a lecturer in a Kolkata college . He traveled far and wild, over the seas and years in Europe doing some part-time jobs to survive. In England he associated himself with various socialist organisation . His poetry had to pause temporarily but only to find a new path to flow in the form of his famous 'travel poems'.[8] [9] [10]

Utpal Kumar Basu works[edit]

Utpal Kumar Basu[11] and Bhaskar Chakraborty in a poetry reading session
  • Chaitrye Rochito Kobita (চৈত্রে রচিত কবিতা) [1956]
  • Puri Series (পুরী সিরিজ) [1964]
  • Narokhadok, collection of short stories (নরখাদক) [1970]
  • Abar Puri Series (আবার পুরী সিরিজ) [1978]
  • Lochondas Karigar(লোচনদাস কারিগর) [1982][12]
  • Khandobaichitrer Din (খন্ডবৈচিত্র্যের দিন) [1986][13]
  • Srestho kobita (শ্রেষ্ট কবিতা) [1991]
  • Dhusar Atagach, collection of free prose (ধূসর আতাগাছ) [1994][14]
  • Salma Jorir Kaaj (সলমা জরির কাজ) [1995]
  • Kahabotir Nach (কহবতীর নাচ) [1996]
  • Night School (নাইটস্কুল) [1998]
  • Tusu Amar Chintamoni (তুসু আমার চিন্তামনি)
  • Meenyuddha (মীনযুদ্ধ)
  • Bokshigunje Padmapare (বক্সিগঞ্জে পদ্মাপাড়ে)
  • Annadata Joseph (অন্নদাতা জোসেফ)
  • Sukh Duhkher sathi (সুখদুঃখের সাথী)
  • Translation from Safo [সাফোর কবিতা (অনুবাদ)]
  • Collected poems (কবিতা সংগ্রহ)
  • Collected prose (গদ্যসংগ্রহ)
  • Sakal Egarotar Roddur[15]
  • Baba Bhoy Korche (বাবা ভয় করছে)
  • Piya Mana Bhabe (poetry) [Won Sahitya Akademi Award, 2014][16]
  • Hanscholar Path-Poetry, Long interview, Sketches (January-2015)
  • Sadabrahmoman-collection of short stories,sketches and criticism-2015
  • Tokyo Laundry-collection of short stories,sketches and criticism-2016
  • Dear Sm-collection of personal letters written to wife Santana Basu-2016