The nineteenth Bihari Puraskar, an annual literary award by the K.K. Birla Foundation, has been awarded to Hemant Shesh for his collection of poetry titled Jagah Jaisi Jagah for the year 2009. The award, which is given only to Rajasthani writers, carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a citation and a plaque.
The poet Shesh was born in Rajasthan and joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1977. Till date, he has published 11 Hindi poetry collections. Some of his work has been translated into other Indian and foreign languages.
Shesh has been editing a quarterly bilingual magazine, Kala-Prayojan, that focuses on art and literature since 1995.
In the work that received the prestigious Bihari Puraskar, the poet chooses subjects that are a search for the path to the soul.
Of the three literary awards instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991, the Bihari Puraskar is only for Rajasthani writers. The definition of Rajasthani for the purpose includes all those who have been living in Rajasthan for the past seven years or more, apart from the original residents of Rajasthan who may be residing anywhere in the country now.
The award is named after the famous poet Bihari. Since 1991, winners have included Dr Jai Singh Neeraj, Nand Chaturvedi, Harish Bhadani, Nand Bhardwaj, Yashwant Vyas, Alka Saraogi, Marudhar Mridul, Nand Kishore Acharya, Vishwambar Nath Upadhyay, Basheer Ahmed Mayukh, Vijaydan Detha, Hamidullah, Vijendra, Rituraj and Dr Prabha Khaitan. In 2003 and 2005, the award wasn’t given.