March 23, 2023
Our beloved poet Anna Sujatha Mathai breathed her last on March 17, 2023, ensconced in the loving warmth of her family. She leaves behind a legacy of love and learning in her devoted son Arjun, her daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and extended circle of family and friends, who care for her deeply. She was very attached to her caregiver Hema, who looked after her. There was glowing admiration and solidarity between the two women, that she often shared on social media. Her courage, determination and poetry, have been a source of inspiration to many.
Sujatha’s father was a Professor of English and Head of the Department at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi. She did him proud, earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Delhi University, followed by a Master’s in Social Science from Edinburg University; with six poetry collections to her credit.
Sujatha wrote with us at the Global poetry writing month facilitated by TMS in 2017, and by WE in 2018, again at CeWoPoWriMoWE in 2019, ’20. Her poetry communicates her indomitable spirit and zest for life.
The WE Literary Community is very fortunate that her poetry honours the inaugural WE Kamala Das Poetry Award, 2018, with its beauteous cadence and glorious rhythmic overtures, opening up new vistas.
Sujatha Mathai’s WE Kamala Das Award ceremony was hosted by (late) Dr.Premola Ghose at IIC, Delhi, on September 28, 2018. Presiding over the function, eminent poet Keki Daruwalla gave away the award to Sujatha in the presence of family, friends, poets, writers and well wishers. The evening saw the launch of the inaugural WE anthology Equiverse Space – A Sound Home in Words.
Sujatha graced the occasion resplendent in a saree that spun a golden aura around her, her voice so mellifluous and powerful- it evoked her background in theatre; and the tiny oxygen tubes inserted in her nose seemed to rush into our hearts with her bravery and zest for life!
WE shall remember Sujatha as an inspiring poet, a warm and friendly person, and a brave fighter who lived life on her own terms…
Read her poem Goddess Without Arms here, in the first We Poetry Awards ’20 edition of Yugen Quest Review:
Glossary: GloPoWriMo - Global Poetry Writing Month TMS - The Missing Slate WE - Women Empowered Literary Community CeWoPoWriMoWE - Celebrate World Poetry Writing Month with WE.