Rajendra Kishore Panda
Rajendra Kishore Panda born 24th June 1944 is a major poet in Odia literature. He was born in Natasha, a village in the undivided Sambalpur district of Odisha. His family was one of the 22ooo families that faced the trauma of displacement when 285 villages were submerged under the waters of the Hirakud dam project in 1956-57 . He holds a Master’s degree in Arts from Allahabad University. He worked in the Indian Administrative Service from 1967 to 2004.
His poems got published in state level journals while he was still in the school. He is the author of twenty books of poetry and a novel. He also edited several Web anthologies of poetry including Kavitayana and Barnamala.
Rajendra Kishore disavows allegiance to any single style . His range is vast and variegated. Passion and dissent have symbiosis in the creativity. He affirms life. Distinctive for its creative vigour, breadth of vision, unceasing experimentation ainexhaustible linguistic variety, his work asserts for itself in right to “ coo or kaw or neigh or roar”, depending on the genetic predisposition of the poem in the process of ‘birthing’.
Rajendra talks in an interview that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude. His agnosticism, humanism, the essentially subversive nature of the poetic enterprise ( ପକ୍ଷ କଥା ଉଠୁଛି ଯଦି ମତେ ରଖ ଅପର ପକ୍ଷରେ ) and his motto for life after his collected poems ସାଦା ପୃଷ୍ଠା “ Blankness is all. Rajendra Kishore has been inspirational for succeeding generations of Odia poets. A selected list of Awards and Honours –
Sahitya Academy 1985
Gangadhar national award for poetry 2010
Writer -in- Residence of Sahitya Academy 2009
Sachi Rautroy Samman 2005
D. Litt degree honoris causa Sambalpur University 2004
Sahitya bharati Samman 2004
Bishuba Samman 2004
Bharat Chandra Naik literary award 2001
Sarala award (refused)1995
Senior fellowship by Union Department of culture 94-96
Jhankar poetry award 1994
Governor’s plaque award 1993
Jibanaranga felicitation for poet
Bharatiya bhasha Parishad award 1989
And many more.