Place of birth
Place of residence
National identity
United Kingdom

Sudeep Sen

Short biography
SUDEEP SEN [] is internationally recognised as a major new voice in world literature and one of “the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene. A distinct voice: carefully modulated and skilled, well measured and crafted’’ (BBC Radio). He is “fascinated not just by language but by the possibilities of language” (Scotland on Sunday).

"He read English Literature at the University of Delhi, and as an Inlaks Scholar received an MS from the Journalism School at Columbia University (New York). His awards, fellowships & residencies include: Hawthornden Fellowship (UK), Pushcart Prize nomination (USA), BreadLoaf (USA), Pleiades (Macedonia), NLPVF Dutch Foundation for Literature (Amsterdam), Ledig House (New York), Wolfsberg (Switzerland), and Sanskriti (New Delhi). He was international writer-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library (Edinburgh), and visiting scholar at Harvard University. 

Sen’s dozen books include: Leaning against the Lamp-Post (1983), The Lunar Visitations (1990), Kali in Ottava Rima (1992), Parallel (1993), New York Times (1993), South African Woodcut (Peepal Tree, 1994), Mount Vesuvius in Eight Frames (Peepal Tree, 1994), Dali’s Twisted Hands (Peepal Tree, 1995), Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 1997), Prayer Flag (Peepal Tree, 2003), Distracted Geographies (Peepal Tree, 2004), Rain (2005), Aria (2009, A K Ramanujan Translation Award), Letters of Glass (2010), and others. Blue Nude: Poems & Translations 1977-2012 (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Award) is forthcoming. 

He has also edited several important anthologies, including: The HarperCollins Book of Modern English Poetry by Indians (forthcoming), The Literary Review Indian Poetry (2009), Biblio South Asian English Poetry (2006, a portfolio), Midnight’s Grandchildren: Post-Independence English Poetry from India (2004), Index for Censorship [Poems] Songs of Partition (1998, a portfolio), Lines Review Twelve Modern Young Indian Poets (1996), Wasafiri Contemporary Writing from India, South Asia and The Diaspora (1995), and others. His poems, translated into over twenty-five languages, have featured in international anthologies by Penguin, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Routledge, Norton, Knopf, Everyman, Random House, Macmillan, and Granta. 

His poetry and literary prose have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Financial Times, London Magazine, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Telegraph, Hindu, Outlook, India Today, and broadcast on BBC, CNN-IBN, NDTV & AIR. Sen’s recent work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela (HarperCollins), Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and others. He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and editor of Atlas [].

To visit Sudeep Sen's website, please visit

To visit Atlas AARK ARTS, please visit


‘I read Rain with considerable admiration and pleasure. It is a word-perfect collection and its subject matter is both the measure of the rain and the spoken line’. 
—AMIT CHAUDHURI in The Statesman ‘Best Book of the Year’

‘Sudeep Sen’s poems are a present which bring — like all true poetry — so much companionship’.
—JOHN BERGER, Booker Prize Winner and author of The Ways of Seeing (Penguin/BBC)

‘A wonderful poet’. — YEHUDA AMICHAI, Selected Poems (Faber & Faber)

‘A highly sophisticated poet’. — KAIFI AZMI, author of Selected Poems (Viking Penguin)

‘A gifted poet .... I think everyone who works in Indian literature in English should thank him for all he has done’. — DOM MORAES in Sunday Midday

Prayer Flag is an unique object of art that reveals two intrinsically linked artistic sides of Sen’s work and talent: words and images. Perfection of musicality, tone and cadence is tuned to produce the finest resonance… a gift to treasure from a master artist. — TOM ALTER in Biblio

‘A rich, fluent, cosmopolitan voice’. — PETER BRADSHAW in London Evening Standard

‘Sen has emerged as a leading poet of the English language — has a painter’s eye when depicting a scene [commands] superb skill’. — KHUSHWANT SINGH in Sunday Observer

‘A poet of technical facility … has produced a large body of work’.
— BRUCE KING in The Oxford English Literary History (OUP)

‘Sen [has] extended the range of Indian verse in English to encompass a variety of alternative views of language, history and culture’. — CHRIS COOK ed., Pears Cyclopaedia (Penguin)

‘Sen is an eclectic poet whose understated work eschews fashionable trends, while exhibiting considerable technical virtuosity and versatility’. 
— JOHN THIEME in Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (Cambridge University Press)

‘Sen is amongst the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene. A distinct voice: carefully modulated and skilled, well measured and crafted’. — GREGOR ROBERTSON on BBC Radio

‘I’ve enjoyed reading Distracted Geographies — the spare language gives importance and adds significance to each word. In fact, the words ripple in the surrounding silence, like stones dropped into a still pond. The poem moves forward in a restrained, contemplative manner (a relief from much contemporary histrionics), and draws the reader into its emotional landscape. I especially enjoyed the images and references drawn from the world of science — as Calvino said: the literature of the third millennium must engage with science if it is to remain relevant and vital’. — TOM PETSINIS, author of The French Mathematician (Penguin)

‘From a wet Scottish morning to the lonely moment of self-discovery in a Gothic atmosphere symbolizing stillness, Distracted Geographies: An Archipelago of Intent captures all with the piercing precision of language, tonal lyricism, and unique scientific patterning of the book’s architecture. Visionary, sensual and transcendental — we have to thank Sudeep Sen for a truly remarkable book — a tour de force’. — The Independent


‘Sudeep Sen’s marvellous poetic career makes him the outstanding literary representative of his generation. The rich range and resonance of his work covers his poems, translations, editing, anthologizing, and discursive prose. An unerring poetic intelligence works here.’ — DILIP CHITRE, Tukaram: Says Tuka (Penguin)

‘These elegant and precise translations from various languages are like tying up a bunch of subtle fragrances. Common concerns of humanity are expressed differently by each poet so one doesn’t feel a stranger among strangers.’ — GULZAR, Selected Poems (Viking Penguin)

‘Translation is a supremely hard task and often a thankless one. Sudeep Sen, a distinguished poet in his own right, accomplishes this task magnificently, translating as only a poet can, for to translate poetry, it should go without saying, one must be a poet of distinction.’ 
— DANIEL WEISSBORT, founder-editor with TED HUGHES, Modern Poetry in Translation 

‘For Bengali poetry to take its rightful place in the international world of letters, it needs an international translator. Who better than Sudeep Sen? Add to the Bengali the translations from Hindi, Urdu and many other languages from all four corners of the world, and you have a wondrous, intricate embroidery — threads of many colours twisting and interweaving: a cloth that all nations can wear. Most impressive.’ 
— WILLIAM RADICE, Rabindranath Tagore: Selected Poems (Penguin Modern Classics)

‘The work of translation is the work of comprehension, or rather the building up of a network of comprehensions. It enables people of different languages to share something that lies at the heart of human experience, which is the transformation of experience into language. Sudeep Sen has constructed a community of voices, a properly wide-ranging community, where true poems find proper echoes in the common cave of a new language — a mammoth work and a real achievement.’ 
— GEORGE SZIRTES, New & Collected Poems (Bloodaxe)

‘Prolific as a poet, ... and a dynamic presence on the literary scene ... [Sen has also done] vigourous work as translator.’ — ARUNDHATI SUBRAMANIAM on Poetry International Web

‘In this superlative book of translations, Sen uses his gifts as a poet, linguist, cosmopolitan traveller and observer to conjure, in Coleridge’s phrase, the ‘best words in their best order’ .... A fine collection of poetry which takes the best from classical and modern traditions and integrates them into a stunning whole.’ 
— JENNY LEWIS on Molossus 

‘Prolific as a poet, ... and a dynamic presence on the literary scene ... [Sen has also done] vigourous work as translator.’ — ARUNDHATI SUBRAMANIAM on Poetry International Web

‘In this artfully put together anthology, Sen translates from many languages. Sen’s own translation of Jibanananda Das’s Banalata Sen is luminous enough to carry the entire book.’
— ARSHIA SATTAR in Outlook ‘The Best Books of the Year 2009’"