Jnanpith Award-winning poet O N V Kurup died

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Who: Jnanpith Award-winning poet O N V Kurup
Where: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
What: Died
When: 13 February 2016
Why: Age related ailments

Malayalam’s most celebrated contemporary poet and Jnanpith-winner Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup passed away on 13 February 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 84.

Popularly known as ONV, Kurup began his career as a progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology. He was a part of the progressive movement in Kerala and wrote some of the most remembered poems and film lyrics.

About O N V Kurup

Born on 27 May 1931 in Chavara, Kollam, Kurup attended the public Government School, Chavara.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts in Malayalam literature.

He was a lecturer at Maharajas College, Ernakulam, University College, Trivandrum, Arts and Science College, Kozhikode and Brennen College, Thalassery.

He joined Government Women’s College, Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department.

He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University.

He retired from service in 1986.

He received the Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India.

In 2007, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala.

He received the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honour, for the year 2007. He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award.

His first published poem was Munnottu (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946.

His first poetry collection, Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949.

He published a book named Dahikunna Panapatram (The Thirsty Chalice) which was a collection of his early poems during 1946–1956.