A.J Thomas

Born on 10 June 1952, in Kerala, India.

Indian-English poet and fiction writer; has also translated extensively from Malayalam(the language of Kerala, the southernmost State in India) poetry, fiction and drama over the last two decades, with several books to his credit. Regularly publishes poetry, short fiction, translations, book reviews and features on literary and cultural matters in journals, magazines and websites in India and abroad.

Did Ph. D in English (Translation Studies–Thesis, “Modern Malayalam Fiction and English: An Inquiry into the Linguistic and Cultural Problems of Translation) and, before that, M. Phil in English (Translation Studies—Dissertation, “ Seventeen Contemporary Malayalam Short Stories: Translation into English with an Introductory Study”).

Voluntarily retired(25th August 2010) as Editor, *Indian Literature* , the200-page English bi-monthly of Sahitya Akademi The National Academy of Letters, Ministry of Culture, Government of India; the journal carries, in English translation, poetry, fiction, drama, literary criticism, etc., from the 24 National Languages and numerous minor languages of India, besides special sections on ancient and medieval literature, and the various tribal literatures of the country.) Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India; Honorary Fellow, Department of Culture, Government of South Korea(2011-2013), ex-Member, National Committee of Grant-in-Aid(Books),Government of India; Permanent Member, Panel of Literary Translators, Sahitya Akademi.

Recipient of Katha Award, AKMG Prize {which enabled him to undertake a four-month trip abroad, travelling for two months all over the U S A and another two months in the UK and Western Europe(1997) visiting important centres of literature and culture} and lately, the prestigious Vodafone Crossword Award for translating M.Mukundan’s novel,*Kesavante Vilaapangal *(*Kesavan’s Lamentations*, 2007).

Participated as an invited delegate representing India, in the International Writers’ Meet (May 2008) at Pohang, and Indo-Korean Poets’ Meet, Seoul, both in South Korea; again, in November 2011, invited by the Department of Cutlure, Government of South Korea as a participant in the International Workshop on Narratives of Asia. In December 2011, invited to the 14th Biennial Asia-Pacific Writers’s Symposium, at Westernly Centre.University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, Australia, to make a presentation and for poetry reading. Invited as a Guest Speaker in the 5th
International Conference on Educational Reform in March 2012, by Mahasarakham Univerisity Thailand, at Pattaya Beach, Thailand. Invited by the Nepali Folklore Society as a Guest Speaker and to read poetry at the 4th International Folklore Conference in August 2012.

Participated in several National and International Seminars on Literature over the eleven-year period from 1997 to 2008 organised by the National Academy of Letters, India, and played a lead role in conducting them lately; participated and presented papers in numerous such seminars held in different parts of India during the same period; many of the papers thus presented have been published in prestigious journals. Also conducted many programmes of the Academy introducing and felicitating celebrated authors from India and abroad.

From 2000 to 2006, taught English in MBA and Post-graduate Diploma(Communication, Public Relations & Journalism) classes in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Sardar Patel College of Communication and Management, K.G.Marg, New Delhi. Has been co-guide of one Ph.D. scholar in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was teaching English in Garyounis University(now renamed Benghazi University), College of Arts and Science, Ajdabiya, Libya, since 30 October 2008 and came back to India following the crisis there.During the stay in India from 3rd March 2011 to 6thJanuary 2012, when he returned to Libya to resume teaching in Benghazi University, he has been Senior Consultant to Indiara Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) for pioneering the Centre for Modern Indian Languages and Mother Tongues in the School of Translation Studies and Training; simultaneously he was Guest Editor(honorary), Indian Literature, Sahitya akademi, New Delhi, in which position he is still continuing.

* Photo credit to Ankur Betageri