Vijay Seshadri

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Vijay Seshadri
Vuay seshadri 4803.JPG
Born (1954-02-13) February 13, 1954 (age 68)
Bangalore, India
Genre Poetry
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize for poetry

Vijay Seshadri (born February 13, 1954 in Bangalore, India)[1] is a Brooklyn, New York–based Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, essayist, and literary critic.

Vijay won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for 3 Sections.

Early life

Vijay moved to the United States at the age of five. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where his father taught chemistry at Ohio State University.[2]


Seshadri has been an editor at The New Yorker, as well as an essayist and book reviewer in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, The American Scholar, and various literary quarterlies. He has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; and area studies fellowships from Columbia University.[3] As a professor and chair in the undergraduate writing and MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College he has taught courses on 'Non-Fiction Writing', 'Form and Feeling in Nonfiction Prose', 'Rational and Irrational Narrative', and 'Narrative Persuasion'.[4]

The Disappearances

Seshadri's poem The Disappearances deals with a "cataclysm" in "American history" and the baffling nature of loss.[5] It came to prominence after the New Yorker published it on their back cover following the September 11 attacks in 2001. It was also subsequently included in The Best American Poetry 2003. Seshadri had intended for The Disappearances to personalise loss having described himself as initaly too shocked to write poetry in the wake of the attacks. The New Yorker's poetry editor, Alice Quinn, said that the poem "...summoned up, with acute poignance, a typical American household and scene...The combination of epic sweep (including the quoted allusion to one of Emily Dickinson's Civil War masterpieces, from 1862) and piercing, evocative detail is characteristic of the contribution Seshadri has made to the American canon."[6]


In a 2004 interview, Seshadri discusses the creative process and his influences, in particular Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Blake. He also reflects on his cultural influences including the experience of "strangeness" coming of age in Columbus, Ohio during the 1960s.[7]


  • 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • The James Laughlin Prize of the Academy of American Poets (for "The Long Meadow")
  • The MacDowell Colony’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement
  • The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize
  • 2004 Guggenheim Fellow



  • Vijay Seshadri (6 May 2014). 3 Sections: Poems. Graywolf Press. ISBN 978-1-55597-345-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • New and Selected Poems by Harper Collins India. Includes 'Wild Kingdom', 'The Long Meadow', 'The Disappearances'.
  • The Long Meadow Graywolf Press: Minnesota, 2004, ISBN 1555974007. His second book. Six of these poems were also published in the New Yorker including “The Disappearances,” “North of Manhattan,” and “The Long Meadow”.
  • Wild Kingdom Graywolf Press: Minnesota, 1996, ISBN 9781555972363. His first book.


  • Several of Seshadri's poems have been published by the New Yorker, including: "Rereading" (2012), "Visiting Paris" (2010), and "Thought Problem" (2009).[8]
  • His poems, essays, and reviews have also appeared in A Public Space, AGNI, The American Scholar, Antaeus, Bomb, Boulevard, Epiphany, Fence, Field, Lumina, The Nation, The Paris Review, the Philadelphia Enquirer, Ploughshares, Poetry, The San Diego Reader, Shenandoah, The Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, the Times Book Review, TriQuarterly, Verse, Western Humanities Review, The Yale Review.
  • Anthologies which have included his work: Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets, Under the Rock Umbrella,[9] Contours of the Heart, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times and The Best American Poetry 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2013.


  1. "Seshadri, Vijay." World Authors, 1995-2000 (2003): Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson). Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
  8. "Vijay Seshadri". The New Yorker.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. William J. Walsh (2006). Under the Rock Umbrella: Contemporary American Poets, 1951-1977. Mercer University Press. pp. 446–. ISBN 978-0-88146-047-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links