Indian-American Doctor is Ohio’s First Poet Laureate


Washington: A 36-year-old Indian-American doctor has been named the first Poet Laureate by the US state of Ohio for showcasing a variety of styles in his poetry.

Amit Majmudar, a diagnostic nuclear radiologist, was named to the two-year honorary position by governor John Kasich who created the honour.

“Our first poet laureate will bring a unique perspective to this new role and is a powerful example to our young people that regardless of what career path they choose to pursue, they always can tap into their other passions,” Ohio Governor John R Kasich said yesterday.

During his two-year term beginning January 1 next year, Majmudar said he intends to bring an interdisciplinary approach to promoting poetry by establishing a link with the existing, thriving Ohio arts community, a media release said.

Another important component of his outreach will be engaging Ohio high school students through a variety of means to encourage the future of poetry in Ohio. As a poet, Majmudar has taken a nontraditional path, the Governor’s office said.

Majmudar is a medical doctor and serves as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist in Columbus. The legislation creating the position of the State’s official poet was passed in 2014.

He was recommended for the position by the Ohio Poet Laureate Selection Committee, following an extensive statewide nomination and review process. Throughout his medical career, Majmudar has nurtured his writing as a poet, novelist and essayist. He has published two novels, Partitions in 2009 and The Abundance in 2011.

Majmudar’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry Magazine, The Antioch Review and The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-2012.

His essays and literary criticism have appeared in a number of publications as well including the New York Times, The Kenyon Review and Poetry Daily.

His next collection of poems Dothead will be published in March by Alfred A Knopf.