Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2023 SHORTLIST

Finalists for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2023 are ready to be revealed to the public.

Carefully selected, our nine shortlisted books reflect something pervasive in our culture: literary interconnectedness and the layering of sources of inspiration. They embody the erudition and sophistication of contemporary literati, drawing intense inspiration from “big” culture, the cultural past, the classics, various forms of art, and expression. In this process, they create new outlooks and pose intellectually stimulating questions worth exploring, all the while remaining true to their commitment to the elegance of expression and their distinctive styles.

The shortlisted books for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2023 include:

1. “Let Us Look Elsewhere”

Mona Dash

a short story collection

Dahlia Books 2021

“Let Us Look Elsewhere” is a collection of truly versatile and colorful narratives that skillfully scratches beneath the glossy surface of our AI and social media-driven era, revealing the profound and all pervading atmosphere of displacement and loneliness. A genuinely delightful read.

2. “Salt and Pepper”


a poetry collection

Poetrywala 2023

Sukrita’s poetry, with its depth and the density of thoughts condensed into aphoristic verses, mirrors her mind’s capacity to transcend mere experience and access something universally and intensely true.

3. “All These Streets We’ve Known By Heart”

Siddharth Dasgupta

a poetry collection

Red River 2022

Siddharth Dasgupta’s poems are haunted by an enduring ache for moments from the past, intrinsically linked to the geographical landscapes and their history. Each poem is a micro-narrative of nostalgia or, more analogically, a sturdy scaffold bearing the weight of memories across the ages. Beautiful and introspective.

4. “Chronicles of Entering My Body”

Rupam Baoni

a poetry collection

Hypathia Publications 2021

Rupam Baoni’s poetry touches deep into the realm of primordial sensuality, celebrating the reverence for humanity, the precision of an organism and its functions. It’s an ode to the human body, where the metaphysical is forever tethered to the earthly, inseparable from our primal urges and fertility. A profound journey into the fascinating feminine.

5. “Kisses at the Espresso Bar”

Anita Nahal

a collection of ekphrastic poetry

Kelsay Books 2022

“Kisses at the Espresso Bar”, an ekphrastic collection of prose poems, offers an undeniably psychedelic experience. The unhindered flow of thought unleashes a mass of chaotic and unexpected references, that evokes erudite yet, at times, conflicting connotations, continually reevaluating ideas related to womanhood, personal experience, and (self-)perception. Reading this exceptional collection becomes an heightened and surreal journey in its own right.

6. “Tether That Light”

Debasish Lahiri

a collection of ekphrastic poetry

Red River 2022

Much like how Mughal Miniature art is often inspired by mythological and literary traditions, here it provides the foundation for a new poetic endeavor that tackles the profound inquiries of human existence with literary elegance and historical insight.

7. “Tales of the Anointed Skeletons and Love”

Lahari Mahalanabish

a short story collection

Ukiyoto Publishing 2022

This short story collection captures the gist of our globalized world. Reality often hovers on the edge of horror and surrealism, with characters entrapped in the cycles of their daily struggles, too numbed to transcend their immediate hardships. Every now and then, a figure emerges from their midst, sometimes brave, sometimes  indispensable, embodying the necessity for a rule breaker and a path toward much-needed change. Exquisitely crafted, at times bizarre and definitely thought-provoking.

8. “The Secret of More”

Tejasvini Apte-Rahm

a novel

Aleph Book Company 2022

A captivating tale of ambition, marriage, success and loss, animatedly reflecting the era, habits, and culture, narrated in truly beautiful and masterful prose. Simply wonderful and gripping.

9. “Dreams In My Lap”

Bhawna Vij Arora

a poetry collection

Hawakal Publishers 2023

This collection of poems is like a storm that stirred up anger, frustration and courage in the face of oppression—be it personal, gender-related, or global. In its wake, something akin to fragments of penetrating insight and lucid wit remained. Unapologetic and empowering.

The winner of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2023. has been announced at the awarding ceremony on December 18th, 2023. at India International Center, IIC, in New Delhi.

Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize is a legacy to Rabindranath Tagore, his outstanding contribution to Indian and international literature, as well as to the cultural, educational and humane ideas he pursued throughout his life.

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