|Poet-Diplomat Abhay K. by Alina Medvedeva|
He was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in Sept 2018 in the Poet and the Poem series. He was honoured with the SAARC Literary Award 2013 for his contribution to contemporary South Asian Poetry, received a certificate in poetry writing from the International Writing Program, The University of Iowa in 2015 and was a featured writer in IWP's Silk Routes Project. His poetry has been subject to academic research and a PhD has been awarded on the subject 'Cultural Construct of Self: A Critical Study of Abhay Kumar's Poetry' by the Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner, Rajasthan. Several other research papers have also been published on his poetry. His edited anthology 100 Great Indian Poems is taught as study material for a course on Modern Indian Writing in Translation.
His poems have appeared in over 100 international literary journals including Poetry Salzburg Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Asia Literary Review, The Missing Slate, Gargoyle among others.
His call for a common Earth Anthem has been termed by UNESCO as a creative and inspiring thought that would contribute to bringing the world together. An Earth Anthem penned by him has been translated into over 150 languages, performed by the philharmonic orchestras in Brazil and Amsterdam and is used by many schools across the globe. He also wrote a SAARC Song and Moon Anthem. Over 100 poets, musicians, singers, actors, professors and people from different walk of life read/recited it on 51st Earth Day celebrations on 22 April 2021.
He has read his poems at LaLitTana, Antananarivo, Madagascar (2019, 2020), Oxford Bookstore, New Delhi (2019), Autonomous University of Mexico (2018), the Library of Congress, Washington DC (2018), Busboys and Poets, Washington DC (2018), Boston University (2018), Santiago International Poetry Festival 2018, the Poets House,New York 2017; SOAS,University of London 2017; the Jaipur LitFest 2015 and 2017; the International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Columbia 2017; International Poetry Festival, Granada, Nicaragua 2017; The Peruvian House of Literature in Lima 2016, the InterAmerican University in Buenos Aires 2016, at Goa Art and Lit Fest 2014, at Mountain Echoes Literature Festival 2015 in Bhutan, Kitaabnama, a literary programme on India's national TV channel, at Nepal Literature Festival, Kathmandu 2013, at SAARC Literature Festival, Agra 2013; South Asian Poetry Festival, Kathmandu; at Sahitya Akademi- India's National Academy of Literature, New Delhi, Sikkim Academy, Gangtok, Dom Pishatelov, St. Petersburg, Russia.
His poems have been translated into French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Nepali, Hindi, Irish, Portuguese, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish, Malagasy, Romanian, Oriya, Malayalam among other languages. His collection of poems The Alphabets of Latin America has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Malayalam, and The Magic of Madagascar into Malagasy and French.
His writings on digital diplomacy, poetry, art and global democracy have appeared in Daily O, The Times of India, The China Daily, The Korea Herald, The Diplomat (Tokyo), ANN (Singapore), The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times, The Daily Star (Dhaka), The Sunday Times (Colombo) among other publications.
His artworks have been exhibited in Paris, St. Petersburg, New Delhi and Brasilia.
On Monsoon (Sahitya Akademi, 2022)
“An Indian diplomat in Madagascar dreams like the exiled Yaksha of making the monsoon his Cloud Messenger (Meghaduta) to take a message to his beloved in the Himalayas. As he instructs the monsoon, the sights, sounds and smells of the journey are evoked. The monsoon ecosystem ties together the Indian Ocean world in a dense network of migration, trade and culture. Travel with it on a mind-journey.” —Rachel Dwyer, Professor Emerita, SOAS University of London
“There is a lushness and unapologetic voluptuousness in Abhay K.'s Monsoon which reminds us strongly of the immortal ancients.”—Gabriel Rosenstock, Poet, Ireland
On The Alphabets of Latin America (Bloomsbury India, 2020)
"At a time when Latin America undergoes its worst crisis in a century, Indian poet Abhay K. reminds us in his vivid verses of the marvels of the lands of magical realism. Widely traveled across the Americas, from Bahia to Belmopan, he has taken it all in. His poem on the Rio Carnival by itself is worth the price of the book. Without missing a beat, his lines recreate the colors, the rhythms, and the pre-Columbian roots of a region of vast, empty spaces that ache to be filled with words, as Neruda used to say. Abhay has done so with verve, gusto and brio, displaying a sensibility both ancient and post-modern. A riveting read!"—Jorge Heine
The Alphabets of Latin America takes us on a journey through the richness and variety of Latin America with the passion and sensibility of Abhay K., a true friend of Latin Americans, in which he converses with the great poets of the region. Urban and rural, popular and erudite, traditional and modern: from Amazon to Zocalo, there are several Latin Americas depicted by the poet with a moving sensibility. –Mauricio Santoro, University of Rio de Janeiro
On The Eight-eyed Lord of Kathmandu (Bloomsbury India 2018)
In these rapturous poems (in The Eight-Eyed Lord Of Kathmandu) Abhay K catches the allure and mystique of Kathmandu; its maze of medieval streets, its thronged bazaars, its twilit courtyards. In these captivating poems I taste the aromas of its ancient alleyways and the drift of incense from its crumbling temples. I hear in them the raucous chant of its life. Abhay K is the all-seeing eye, the seer who brings to light a city and its people with a rare immediacy of speech and a boundless imaginative empathy.This young, visionary poet communes beautifully with his beloved Kathmandu. I am grateful for this superbly crafted, exquisitely achieved collection that chronicles the life and times of a city and a people dear to my heart.—Cathal O'Searcaigh
On The Seduction of Delhi (Bloomsbury India 2014)
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. The city makes him feel, and these feelings seep into his words.
Well crafted and imagined, these poems provide kaleidoscopic, impressionistic snapsnots of Delhi, readers in the East and West can easily access and believe. As if "whispering classified secrets," they establish their own "officialese"--their own lexicon for naming and navigating the scenes and settings they explore. All the while, Abhay K's poems meditate on what it means for landscape and memory to constantly reshape history and our experience of it. The many "edifices crumbling metamorphizing into boutiques" in this collection remind us of the importance of laying claim to the present so that we can step more confidently into the uncertain topography of the future.— Dorianne Laux
The poems in the three thematic lines, viz., Places, Portraits and Reflections, dovetail into one another to make Seduction of Delhi a remarkable, exciting book. Qualities of love, tenderness and compassion set Abhay K's work apart from much of the general run of current poetics. Like the River Yamuna, I too, felt its "dark silver/ draining darkness/ from Delhi's soul." Abhay K's poems speak from the heart in language that doesn't compromise. — Jayanta Mahapatra
The Seduction of Delhi is a greatly enjoyable collection of poems on Delhi. As someone in love with Delhi himself, I applaud Abhay for falling poetic prey to its seductions with such literary elegance and poise. Delhi needs its own balladeers. In Abhay K. it has found one. —Pavan K. Varma
Delhi is a palimpsest city, serving as the capital of many empires over the course of history, and Abhay K. presents an architectural and social tour of the city through nimble poems which are imbued with a clear love of his subject.— Ravi Shankar, Award-winning Poet, Editor of Drunken Boat
Abhay K. is a poet with talent and imagination.—Dr. Karan Singh
Seduction of Delhi by Abhay K. is beautiful and engaging and surprises by the sheer variety of themes and structures it covers. Strong masculine rhythm exists in these poems along with deep, delicate lyricism that are nostalgic but rarely sad, full of intelligence and wit.A fine read. —Bibhu Padhi
Unfinished emblem of human ambition” is a poetic expression used by poet Abhay K in his poem “Alai Minar”. I think this expression sums up the character of all the short and unique poems compiled in this collection. Navigating through a poetic map of the great historical, chaotic and bustling metropolis is like making journeys back into times, and into the human psyche that is eternally torn between the power of space and what Martin Heidegger would call the most dynamic emblems of dwellings that rise and fall under sun and stars leaving sensations in history. Abhay K’s poems capture that very sensation in finely structured rhythmic forms. These poems capture the boisterous, aesthetically mad, chaotic and shifting history and transform theminto quiet moments of lyrical meditations.— Abhi Subedi, Poet, Playwright, Professor of English, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Delhi has been widely described as a dry, energy draining place, even a hermaphrodite... Abhay K.'s attempt here proves it otherwise. At first glance, his short, epigrammatic poems might appear just flaccid snapshots or single-boned vignettes of an outsider in a mad and sprawling metropolis known these days for its infamous gang rapes. But a closer look reveals how the poet steps back to withdraw his Self into a cocoon, to gain an artistic poise and to empower each and every item, object, relic, monument and figure a distinct voice and color. Lal Quila, Janter Manter, a flower girl, an auto rickshaw, Connaught Place, a house maid, Rahim, Jamun tree, Ghalib or Dara Shikoh walk with their first person personas in the lanes of Abhay K.'s Delhi, conjuring a memorable recital, a jam that defines the essence of this legendary city... Seduction of Delhi is an artistic triumph in many ways... —Yuyutsu RD Sharma,Author of Annapurna Poems and Nepal Trilogy Visiting poet, New York University, New York
Poetry is the genre of Delhi, and Abhay K.'s poems offer heartfelt homage to both the tradition and the place. —Tabish Khair, Poet, Novelist and Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Arahus, Denmark
Seduction of Delhi captures not only the historical landscape of the Dilli of legend but also the contemporary feel of sarkari New Delhi. It's obvious that Abhay K. has managed to distill years of observation and emotion into these poems. — Krishan Pratap Singh, Author of The Raisina Series
On Remains (Har Anand Publications 2012)
Abhay K.’s words are gentle letters from his heart—sincere, soulful, earnest, and full of childlike wonder. His concerns range from love, quest, and questioning, to cutting tracks and treading water over multitudinous terrain and geographies. His poetic journey always remains pure, effervescent, and innocence-filled.—Sudeep Sen, Poet and Editor of The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry
Abhay K.'s poems are reflective, informed by a grave concern for a planet endangered by its own dominant species, yet vibrant with a measured optimism.— Ranjit Hoskote, Poet, Art Critic, Cultural Theorist
Abhay K.'s poetry gives Indian English Poetry a fundamentally new supranational character. — Irina Burova, Professor of History of Foreign Literature, St. Petersburg State University
Abhay K. is a voyager-poet who dives deep into the recesses of the times, as he journeys to uncover the mist over the fading impressions. His poetry, woven in simple narrative and absorbing images, is of great interest to many of us. — H. K. Kaul, President, The Poetry Society (India)
Abhay K.’s vision of a world without war and destruction, humanity living as one harmonious community, the importance of the prevalence of happiness to ensure a better world of tomorrow, his ruminations on immortality and the impermanence of worldly things and his luminous meditations on beauty will certainly find resonance in the hearts of like-minded, sensitive readers.—A. J. Thomas, Poet and Editor Indian Literature
The flow of energy in Abhay’s poems is lyrical as well as reflective. Words carried in sure waves gather on the banks of experience, striking meaning suggestively. This, if only to be washed away the next moment into the ocean in search of greater truths…there are remains of promises, that of more and more of poetry from him.—Sukrita Paul Kumar, Poet & Critic
Abhay K. manages to evoke both a smile and tear, with sheer lyrical spontaneity and subjective/thematic honesty and candour; his poetry is most redolent of earthly smell of his roots.—Gautam Chakrabarty, Germany
Abhay K. is a golden Voice of New India.—Prof. Irina Burova, St. Ptersburg, Russia
"Abhay K. is a wanderer on the divine path." —Prof. Guzel Strelkova, Moscow, Russia
On Candling the Light (Yash Publishers 2011)
Abhay K.'s poems are soothingly optimistic considering the tension fraught world we live in, they appear like intimate conversations of the poet with himself and the world.— K. Satchidanandan, Sahitya Akademi Awardee, Literary Critic ( In Indian Literature (268), March/April 2012, Sahitya Akademi Bimonthly Journal, page 258-260)
Abhay K.’s poems ring with the sincerity of a deeply felt concern for a better future for the human species. In the nourishing of a new, planetary consciousness based on sharing and responsibility, rather than greed and competition, Abhay K. believes that poetry can play an important role."—Makaran R. Paranjape, Poet, Critic, and Professor of English Literature, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Abhay K.'s poems confront with the smell and feel of a person, place or thing and create a resonance like the ringing of bells or like a gentle breeze on a hot desert afternoon. What is characteristic of the poems in this collection is a pristine kind of simplicity devoid of too much artifice. — H.S. Shivaprakash, Poet, Playwright , Director,Tagore Centre, Berlin, Sahitya Akademi Awardee.
On Art Works Of Abhay K."Abhay's art works address realized worldly issues with a sense of introspection." —RAJEEV LOCHAN, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, India
"The coming together of poem and image, their drawing apart and resumption of mutual approach, the things they invoke together and separately: we savour all these moments of aesthetic experience in The Seduction of Delhi, a folio in which Abhay K and Tarshito collaborate to evoke the spectral yet palpable histories of Delhi, as well as its vibrant, insistent, kaleidoscopic and paradoxical present." —RANJIT HOSKOTE, Poet, Cultural Theorist and Curator
"What I find fascinating about art works of Abhay K is that he goes from very individual signs to broader symbols. A number of his works remind of Cubists. Others remind of pointillism but they way he blends them all together is his own." —SUNEET CHOPRA, Art Critic
"The geometry of Malevich and the musical coloured vision of Matyushin gain typical Indian colour vibrancy and even somewhat folklore inflections in his abstract and semi-abstract works." —ANDREY KHLOBYSTYN
"In his art works Abhay K. creates an allegory of planetary consciousness -Emblems of the unity of the peoples. He draws images of spiritual unity. A futuristic reworking of figurative and suprematic motives." —STANISLAV SAVITSKY