Telugu poet K Siva Reddy has been selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018. He has been awarded for his collection of poems titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down).
Born in 1943 Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur in a farmer’s family, K Siva Reddy is considered as the most renowned modern poets in Telugu. He has also published critical essays on poetry.
K Siva Reddy has also taught English literature and produced 23 volumes of poetry. As per the citation provided by the foundation, Reddy attributes his poetic excellence to his faith in poetry as a weapon in combating injustice and calls himself a wanderer who is forever in search of equality and humanity.
However, Reddy was chosen for the award after a rigorous selection process done by the selection committee, which includes renowned scholars and writers and was headed by Dr Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary general of the Lok Sabha secretariat.
Pakkaki Ottigilite was published in 2016. It is an anthology of 104 poems in blank verse. It captures the responses of the poet with the years of social change, the evolution of his own self and his dynamic relationship with the world.
Saraswati Samman Awards
The award is instituted by the KK Birla Foundation and is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any official Indian language and published during the preceding 10 years.
It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature and also includes a cash purse of Rs 15 lakh, apart from a citation and a plaque. More popular literary awards constituted by the Birla Foundation are Vyas Samman (for Hindi) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan).