Jagannath Prasad Das
: Puri
District: Puri
Category : Literature
Born : 1936.
Died :
Details : Jagannath Prasad Das (born 1936, Puri, Odisha) is an Oriya writer and recipient of the Saraswati Samman and Sahitya Akademi literary awards. His literary works include poetry, fiction, drama and criticism. In 2006 he was awarded the Saraswati Samman for his collection of poems, Parikrama – the third Oriya writer to be so honoured. He has also received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his poetic verses Je Jahar Nirjanata. His writing style is characterised by imagery and is influenced by the style of language spoken by the common people. Das has done research on palm-leaf manuscripts and published a book Palm-Leaf Miniatures. He has also researched pattachitra (the miniature paintings of Orissa) and published books, Puri paintings and Chitra-pothi.

Das started writing in the Oriya language during his teenage years and continued writing mostly poetry until 1955, when he enrolled at Ravenshaw College (now Ravenshaw University). After graduation in 1955 he stopped writing and moved to Allahabad for graduate studies, receiving a Master of Arts in political science and a PhD in art history. From 1963 to 1966, Das worked for the state government of Odisha. In 1973, he joined the Government of India's Indian Administrative Service in New Delhi, where he served for 15 years.

Das published his first poetry collection, Pratham Purush, in 1971. This book was subsequently translated into Hindi and English. He quit his government job in 1984 to continue his passion for writing and research. Das has written about ten poetry collections (eight of which have been translated into Hindi five plays, seven short story collections, an historical novel and a book of poems for children. His historical novel, Desha Kala Patra, was based on the transformation of Orissa's social life in the 19th century during the British rule in India. This book was selected by the National Book Trust for translation into all Indian languages.

Das worked with the Children's Film Society, India, as a member of the board, from 1985 to 1990. He worked with the Orissa Film Development Corporation from 1988 to 1993. In 1987 he edited a book on films, Films for Children.


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