Rajaram Brammarajan is a poet, translator, critic and editor. He started writing poetry in the late 70s and brought out his first collection of poems Arindha Nirandharam (Known Eternity) in 1980. His last collection of poems was called Zen Mayil (Zen Peacock). So far he has published 7 volumes of poems. His Selected Poems (2004) contains selections from all his collections excepting one. His keen involvement in the process of poetry and poetics led to the writing of essays ranging from Modern Tamil poetry to Anti-poetry of post-war Europe. All his essays on poetry are collected in the book titled Vaarthaiyin Rasavatham (Alchemy of the Word). He edited the notable anthology called Contemporary World Poetry (2008) spanning all countries excluding America and England. His full-length introduction to Ezra Pound was published in 1985. In 1987 he presented to the Tamil readers a selection of Bertolt Brecht with a highly structured introduction.
His translations include Jorge Luis Borges’s Stories (2000) and Calvino Kathikal (Stories of Italo Calvino). His translation of Gabriel Garcial Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is forthcoming. He has also translated from Tamil into English many younger poets. For Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature he translated a selection of Siddhar poems. (“Second Tradition: SIDDHAR POEMS”, Indian Literature, Jan-Feb 2000).
He occasionally writes columns on Indian music. He edited a quarterly magazine MEETCHI (Retrieval) since 1983. By the time when the magazine was defunct in 1992 he had published 35 issues that have made a strong impact on the sensibilities of modern Tamil literary world. He started another little magazine under the name Naangam Paathai (Fourth Way) in 2008. This little magazine has extended its roots to other arts like music and painting. Its 3rd issue is forthcoming.
He has conducted a couple of workshops for upcoming poets in different parts of Tamil Nadu. He has also been instrumental in the planting and preservation of 13,000 trees in the Government Arts College campus.
He was born into a peasant family and was educated in government colleges and completed his post-graduation in English from the Annamalai University (1975) with distinction and University First. Later he completed his M.Phil in Bharathiar University specializing in the novels of Samuel Beckett. In M.Phil too he secured the first rank. He is based in Dharmapuri, a sleepy small town in Tamil Nadu. He is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English in Government Arts College, Dharmapuri.
(Updated on Feb 19, 2017)