Vidyan Ravinthiran

Vidyan Ravinthiran (b. 1984 Leeds) was encouraged by his Sri Lankan parents to consider literature ‘a wonderful thing’. He began writing poetry by creating versions of Keats’ odes. This changed when he was given the 2002 Forward Book of Poetry by a friend of his mother. ‘I had these old-fashioned ideas about what a poem should be,’ Ravinthiran explains, ‘and I couldn’t square them with the excitements of free verse.’ In 2008, his pamphlet At Home or Nowhere was published by tall- lighthouse. He cites Yeats, Philip Larkin and Arun Kolatkar as early inspirations; Elizabeth Bishop is the subject of his doctoral thesis at Cambridge. Ravinthiran describes his collection, Grun-tu-molani, as ‘the equivalent of the Ravinthiran family Christmas. We have a roast, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veg, but also a thousand curries… Everything you could want.’

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2019 Forward Prizes for Best Collection, shortlisted for The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 2014 Forward Prizes for Best First Collection, shortlisted for Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe)