The award was determined by the jury comprising Anil Vallathol, vice-chancellor, Malayalam University, Alamcode Leelakrishnan and Prabha Varma. The award comprises cash prize worth Rs 3 lakh, citation and plaque.
“Vairamuthu stands apart with his mellifluous language, original images and philosophical insights,” said jury member Prabha Varma.
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Poet Vairamuthu’s first poetry collection was released in 1972, when he was still a student in Chennai’s Pachayappa’s college. In his literary journey spanning 49 years, he has won several national and international awards for his contribution to literature. His novel ‘Kallikaattu Idhigaasam’ won the Sahitya Akademy award. ‘Thanneer Desam’ won the Aadhithanar literary prize. Poet vairamuthu has received 7 national awards for his songs. He has been conferred India’s prestigious Padmasri and Padmabhushan awards.
“I am honoured to receive the prestigious ONV Kurup award. This award, from Kerala, the land I highly respect for its soulful literature, gives me immense happiness. I see this as a crown placed on Tamil by its sister language. ONV Kurup is a literary pioneer. He went on to show how to diminish or eradicate the distance between poetry and lyrics. His works Ujjaynee and Swayam Varam are great epics. He is not just a poet. He has been the voice for many of people’s struggles. He has created great pieces of Malayalam literature on par with world literature. Even the wind and water of Kerala are well-versed in literature. With that in mind, I consider this award from Kerala as a crowning glory,” said Vairamuthu in a statement.