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Amitabh Mitra PDF Print E-mail
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Authors / Scriptwriters / Poets - Poets

Amitabh Mitra is an Indian born South African physician, poet, and artist. He studied medicine and did his postgraduate studies in orthopedic surgery at the Gajara Raja Medical College, Jiwaji University, Gwalior, India. He further specialized in Aerospace medicine and Family medicine from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

A practitioner of orthopedic surgery and trauma surgery at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, Mdantsane, South Africa for the last twenty years, he has published five volumes of poetry and exhibited his poetry art. Amitabh figures in the international roster of physician poets, a massive roster of ancient and contemporary poets / writers maintained by Dr. Daniel Bryant and assisted by Dr. Suzanne Poirer, Professor of Literature and Medical Education, University of Illinois, U.S.A. He represented South Africa at the World Literature Festival in Oslo 2008.

A major section of his work on art and poetry is devoted to Gwalior where he grew up. His close friendship with the Maratha royal families resulted in his drawing a series of watercolour involving poetry which he exhibited in South Africa and India. A Slow Train to Gwalior is now a coffee table book of his art and poetry, a compact disc of his recitation with a backdrop of African traditional music was released by the Premier of Eastern Cape, Nosimo Balindlela and a short documentary film on his Gwalior poetry was shown at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival on 2009. He was invited by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 2007 where he presented his work to a poetry loving audience.

Amitabh’s work in trauma surgery took him to Bhutan where he worked at high altitude hospitals of Chukha, Tsimalakha, Chimakothi and Thimphu under severe conditions. The Royal Government of Bhutan awarded him with honours for his exemplary work there. During these times he wrote poetry on Bhutan, some of which were translated into French. He wrote about his adventures in his search for the utopian Shangri La. Khushwant Singh, the former editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India visited him in his hospital at Bhutan and wrote about him in his weekly columns, With Malice Towards One and All in the Times of India during the eighties. He later went to Arunachal Pradesh where he joined as an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Along. He joined as an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1993. He lived in the Mzilikazi township of Bulawayo and narrated his experiences during the time of political turmoil.

Dr. Mitra's work during the apartheid era took him to Transkei and Ciskei where he worked in different township hospitals. His present art is about the black township of Mdantsane where he works at the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital. Mdantsane Breathing is his book on the art and poetry of Mdantsane.

Dr. Mitra was the Chief Adjudicator for the Thomas Pringle Poetry Award of 2009 and the Dalro Poetry Award for 2010. He edits a quarterly international print poetry journal, A Hudson View and a journal on Southern African Arts, Inyathi. He is the owner of a publishing house, Poets Printery, South Africa which focuses on publishing Southern African literature.

Recent achievements:

  • 7th July Wordfest, Grahamstown - Launch of three books published by Poets Printery, South Africa
  • Poems for Haiti, A South African Anthology, Edited by Amitabh Mitra, Forward by Professor Peter Horn
  • Worthy, Poems for my Father - Harry Owen
  • Upstart Poetry Anthology. 8 July Wordfest, Grahamstown - Poetry recitation of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Liu Xiaobo by Amitabh Mitra
  • Exhibited my Poetry Art of Mdantsane at the Medical School, Warwick, UK 7 May 2011

Contact Details:

Province: Eastern Cape

City: East London

Category: Painter, Poet

Cell: 082 202 6155

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


unbreaking the rainbow

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