Malayalam poet Ayyappa Panicker dead

Dr K Ayyappa Panicker, who helped catalyse modern Malayalam poetry's turbulent evolution over many uncharted genres, died in Thiruvananthapuram today. He was 76. Panicker had been seriously ill from a rare lung disease for the last two weeks. The body will be cremated at his native Kavalam village tomorrow.

With an awesome repertoire including poetic expressions ranging from the classical to the absurd to raw black humour, Panicker was one of Malayalam's biggest pioneering experimentalists of the last century. Many generations of Malayali poets have been treading the furrows he made in Kerala literature.

But Panicker also had a towering profile as a teacher, writer, editor and translator.

He had lectured in over 20 international universities, written a large number of seminal literary criticisms and translated many contemporary western classics to Malayalam.

Panicker, who had won several literary awards including the state and central Sahitya Akademi honours, besides a Padmashri, was also chosen by the Cambridge University as International Man of The Year.

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