श्रीकांत वर्मा / Shrikant Verma
Shrikant Verma was born in 1931 in Bilaspur, formerly in the Central Provinces and the state of Madhya Pradesh, and now in Chattisgarh. He was educated in Bilaspur and Raipur, and received his M.A. in Hindi from Nagpur University in 1956 (which he attended on the recommendation of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh, a leading Hindi writer of the previous generation). Verma then moved to New Delhi, where, for a decade, he worked as a journalist and in various capacities for political organizations. Between 1966 and 1977, he served as a special correspondent for Dinman, a major Hindi periodical then edited by S. H. Vatsyayan (Agyeya). Later, he was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha on a Congress (I) ticket in 1976; and served as an official and spokesman of the party in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. He was Indira Gandhi’s national campaign manager in the 1980 elections that brought her back to power, and he worked as an adviser and political writer for Rajiv Gandhi after 1984. Verma passed away while being treated for cancer in New York City in 1986. He was a central figure in the Nai Kavita movement in the late1950s and early 1960s, and published an influential short novel as well as collections of short stories and literary interviews and essays. His important volumes of poems are Jalasaghar (1973) and Magadh (1984), the latter perhaps the best-known book of Hindi poetry in the 1980s. He was a visitor at the Iowa International Writing Program twice (in 1970-71 and 1978), and won the Tulsi Puraskar (Madhya Pradesh) in 1976 and the Sahitya Akademi Award, posthumosuly for Magadh in 1985.