Debarshi Mitra, a 22-year old doctoral student in Physics, won the 9th Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize. A jury consisting of Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and two faculty members from the English department at University of Hyderabad, Anna Kurian and Sirisha Telugu selected him from among more than 100 entries. A doctoral student in physics, Debarshi, 22, had his debut book of poems ‘ Eternal Migrant’ published in May 2016 by Writers Workshop. His works have previously appeared in anthologies like Kaafiyana and in literary magazines like ‘ The Scarlet Leaf Review’, ’Thumbprint’, ‘The Punch Magazine’, ‘The Poet Community,’ and ‘Leaves of Ink’ among others. His second collection of poems, ‘Spare Change’ is forthcoming in 2018. He was the recipient of the runner up prize for The Wingword Poetry Contest, 2017.
Recognised as a significant award for creative writing in India, the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize was instituted by the Hyderabad-based Srinivas Rayaprol Literary Trust to recognize excellence in poetry written in English by poets in the age group of 20-40 years. The Prize is jointly administered by the Department of English, University of Hyderabad.
The inaugural prize was awarded in 2009 to Aditi Machado and, subsequently, to Hemant Mohapatra (2010), Aditi Rao (2011), Tushar Jain (2012), Mihir Vatsa (2013), and Ranjani Murali (2014), Aishwarya Iyer (2015), and Goirick Brahmachari (2016). Eminent poets like Jeet Thayil, Sudeep Sen, Keki Daruwalla, Arundhati Subramanian, Manohar Shetty, and Ranjit Hoskote have been associated with the prize as jury members.
The award, consisting of a citation and cash prize of Rs. 15,000 will be presented to the winner at a literary event to be held in Hyderabad.