Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Bringing great poetry to India - Australian poet Les Murray’s Malyalam translations’ launch in Kochi on 21 November 2007



Bringing great poetry to India - Australian poet Les Murray’s Malyalam translations’ launch in Kochi on 21 November 2007

A translation of poems by Les Murray, one of Australia’s finest poets and a critic and essayist, was released in Kochi today. The collection titled, KAVITHAKAL, has been translated into Malayalam by Anitha Thampi.

“Les Murray toured India in January-February 2006, and spoke and read poems at several events in Pune, New Delhi, Ajmer, Chennai and Kochi. In Kochi, he featured in conversation with Dr Lakshmi Devi Menon, where his readings struck an instant chord with the audience,” said Mr Darren Gribble, Chairman of the Australia – India Council (AIC) and former Australian High Commissioner to India. Mr Gribble is currently on a visit to India, and is joined by AIC board members Mr Vinod Daniel, Ms Suzanne Davies and Mr Sandy Hollway.

“This connection inspired the AIC, which is a non- statutory body established by the Australian Government in May 1992 to broaden and deepen Australia-India relations, to initiate the translation work. We hope that the audience in Kerala, and Malayalis everywhere will enjoy the Malyalam translation of Les Murray’s work,” Mr Gribble added.

Elaborating on his experiences during his visit to Kochi, Les Murray, in a message from Australia, said that he was “very much impressed by Kochi, its historic buildings, its many schools, its vast harbour and its cosmopolitan atmosphere of religious variety.”

“I am honoured that the Malyalam translation of my sample volume of poems is now to be launched by a distinguished Malyalam poet, Mr Balachandran Chullikkad” he added.

AIC programs and activities are a form of “second-track diplomacy” conducted in parallel to, and in support of, government to government contacts and exchanges.

Les Murray is one of Australia's finest poets, and a noted critic and essayist. He has won many literary awards, including the Grace Leven Prize (1980 and 1990), the Petrarch Prize (1995), and the prestigious TS Eliot Award (1996). In 1999 he was awarded the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry.

Les Murray's poetry has been published in 10 languages, including, Hindi, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Russian, French and Dutch.

A chemical engineer by profession, Ms Anitha Thampi, is a young Malayalam poet. Anitha participated in a Translation Workshop organised by KATHA during Les Murray’s tour in 2006. Her first collection of poems was published in 2004. Her poems have been included in a number of Malayalam and English publications and have been translated into several Indian languages.

For further information, please contact, Ms Asha Das, Country Manager, Australia- India Council, on (0) 9810860451.