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A tribute to Ayyappa Paniker

Special Correspondent



Honouring a poet: Sukumar Azhikode presenting a copy of Kerala Kavitha to Chandni, granddaughter of Ayyappa Paniker, in Kozhikode on Saturday.

KOZHIKODE: Rich tributes were paid to the poetic genius and erudition of the late Ayyappa Paniker, hailed by many as one of Malayalam’s greatest writers, at a function organised here on Saturday to release the latest edition of Kerala Kavitha, a literary magazine that was launched and edited by the poet.

The 41st anniversary edition of Kerala Kavitha was released by social critic Sukumar Azhikode by presenting a copy to Chandni, the poet’s granddaughter.

Contributions hailed

Prof. Azhikode recalled Panicker’s invaluable contribution to Malayalam language and literature - writing on a wide range of subjects in prose and poems, exploring the possibilities of language and in a style that sizzled.

The function was organised by the Ayyappa Paniker Foundation, which has been organising programmes every year since his demise in 2006.

Recalling his close association with Panicker and Kerala Kavitha, Prof. Azhikode said Paniker had carved out a unique place for himself in literature not only by writing poems that reflected a new style and a new thought process but also by being a mentor and guide to young poets of his time. The release of yet another edition of Kerala Kavitha was the best tribute that could have been paid to the late poet, he said.

K. Satchithanandan, poet and editor of Kerala Kavitha, said besides establishing his reputation as a poet of eminence, Paniker had left an indelible imprint on the history of Indian literature with his erudite articles on various aspects of Indian literature.

Paniker would be remembered for nurturing young writers by giving them a chance to get their poems published in Kerala Kavitha, along with those of more established and revered poets, Mr. Satchithanandan said.

A poets’ meeting and a discussion on ‘Malayalam poetry in 21st century’ were held earlier in the day.

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