Updated: Apr 22, 2022
Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1956 but grew up and educated in the USA. She is married to a German and lives in Bremen. Bhatt’s first language is Gujarati, she uses it in fragments in her poems exploring a wide range of her native culture. Her books of poems are Brunizem (1988) which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Asia Section, Monkey Shadows (1991) that won a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Aguatora in 2000 again won a Poetry Book Recommendation, The Stinking Rose (1994), The One Who Goes Away (1989), Point No Point (1997), The Colour of Solitude (2002) and Pure Lizard (2008). She has also won the Cholmondeley Award (1991).
Sujata Bhatt’s experiments in bi-lingual poetry explore the conflict of the self divided between different cultures. Some critics feel, while some of her poems that make use of Gujarati are elaborately wrought and can occasionally seduce the bi-lingual reader into easy, instant empathy, they don’t necessarily work as good poetry. A genuine expression of feelings can be done only using the mother tongue. But Sujata Bhatt’s poetry works against its ideology.