Poetic genius | The Daily Star
12:08 AM, July 12, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:12 AM, July 12, 2013

Poetic genius

Al Mahmud turns 78

al mahmudAl Mahmud is considered one of the greatest Bengali poets to have emerged from the 1950s. He has written poems, novels, short stories, essays, and more. His immense contribution to Bangladeshi poetry over six decades has earned him international acclaim as well. His writings highlight nature, greenery, crises of the Bengali middle class family and their struggles and pleasures, the Language Movement, nationalism, political and economic exploitation, chronicles of the oppressed et al.
On July 11, this avant-garde poet turned 78. On the occasion, Kabita, a progressive cultural organisation, arranged a birthday celebration at the poet's residence in the city yesterday. Senior poets, writers, publishers, cultural personalities and admirers greeted the poet with flowers, sweets, cards and gifts.
Poet Asad Chowdhury presided over the event. Chowdhury said, “Al Mahmud made great contributions to the Language Movement and Bengali literature. The poet was a freedom fighter as well. He was deeply involved with several significant literary and progressive movements. His poems provide the readers with an authentic perception of the real Bangladesh -- its roots.”
Mahmud was born in Brahmanbaria district in 1936. He began his career as a journalist. He was recognised as an outstanding poet after the publication of “Lok Lokantor” in 1963. Books such as “Kaal-er Kolosh” (1966), “Shonali Kabin” (1966), and “Mayabi Porda Duley Otho” (1976) cemented his position as one of the most prominent Bengali poets. He has received several awards for his remarkable achievements. He took part in the Liberation War of Bangladesh as a freedom fighter in 1971. After the war, he joined The Daily Ganakantha as the assistant editor. Later, the poet joined Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1975 and retired in 1993 as director of the academy.

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