Prashant Parvataneni, a 27-year old independent writer and artist based in Bangalore, won the 11th Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize (2019). He was chosen for the prestigious prize from a field of 170 contestants from around the country by a jury consisting of the eminent poet, playwright, and artist, Dr. Gieve Patel and two faculty members of the University of Hyderabad. Aashika Suresh and Shabnam Parveen were identified as being on the shortlist.
Prashant is part of a collective called brown-study which works towards developing forms of thinking and experimenting with artistic texts and experiences. As a researcher and translator, he also works with the Kabir Project at the Srishti Institute of Art on an online archive of poems from Sufi and Bhakti traditions. His articles on art and cinema have appeared in magazines like Seminar, The Bangalore Review, and Deep Focus Cinema. As a facilitator, he teaches short- and long-term courses on literature and cinema in colleges across Bangalore. Through his various creative and critical pursuits, Prashant is interested in understanding the place of art in life and politics. He believes after Dostoevsky that ‘beauty will save the world’.
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), Goirick Brahmachari (2016), Debarshi Mitra (2017), and Poorna Swami (2018). Eminent poets like Jeet Thayil, Sudeep Sen, Keki Daruwalla, Arundhati Subramanian, Manohar Shetty, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote, and E.V. Ramakrishnan 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.