Best Books on Indian English Poetry: An expert’s list

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Best Books Indian English Poetry critical list literature Alok Mishra NET JRF UGC

In this article, you can read about the books which will help you in studying and understanding Indian English poetry. You will also find the links to buy these books from Amazon India. This article is ideal for the students of Indian English literature as well as anyone who is interested in understanding Indian English poetry.

Diving deep into the world of Indian English poetry has enabled me to observe, analyse, elicit and opine about different aspects of Indian English poetry. In the meanwhile, I have also enjoyed reading many books on the subject and I think it’s the time to tell beginners in Indian English literature and those who want to know more about it, the best books to study Indian English poetry. Are you ready? Indian English poetry has also emerged as one of the most-picked subjects by the research scholars and even then, unfortunately, authentic articles are not available in large numbers for them to study, analyse and understand themes, trends and narratives that Indian English poets have used over the time. I will try my best to contribute to the stock of knowledge and opinions related to English poetry in India.


Modern Indian Poetry in English by Bruce King: Rather ironical but is true to a great extent that an American professor has written a detailed, authoritative and perhaps the most-read account of Indian English poetry. This book by Brice King, a respected scholar and critic, will be very helpful for anyone who wants to understand Indian English poetry right from its origins to the late 1990s and a few years into a new century, the 2000s. King’s account is detailed, well-written, nicely phased and very comprehensively divided. This book will give a full account of the development of Indian English poetry to readers. This should also be the very first book that anyone should consider reading on this topic. You can get a copy from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Buy the book by King – Click to buy from Amazon India

Indian English Poetry: From the Beginnings Upto 2000 by M K Naik: Madhukar Krishna Naik is one of the leading scholars in India who holds an unparalleled command on literary scholarship. His books on Indian English literature as well as other aspects of literature are very popular among scholars and students. His book on Indian English poetry opens up a new world of interpretations for the students who want to understand Indian English poets and their poetry. M K Naik’s writes about the phases in Indian English poetry’s gradual development and he also discusses many topics that, perhaps, the writers of counties other than India can not take up. So, if you want to understand Indian English poetry in an Indian context and perspectives that relate to Indians, Naik’s book is the perfect source to answer your queries. Get a copy right now!
Buy the book by M K Naik – click to get a copy from Amazon India 

Indian Poetry In English: Critical Essays by Zinia Mitra: I will not say that I am a big fan of this book. However, in terms of available content about Indian English poetry in the form of books or digital content, this one should certainly be among the top five any day! Zinia Mitra’s book is a collection of critical (scholarly, you can say) essays written by subject experts. The essays are organised by poets who are transformed into milestones by the editor – right from the origins of Indian English poetry to the day we live, almost. However, before you read this book, reading Bruce King or (you can also replace this or with and) M K Naik’s book will be essential. You can get a copy of this book from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Buy the book now – click to get a copy from Amazon India 

The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets by A K Mehrotra: Well, this is more of a collection of selected poems by modern Indian English poets. However, I am suggesting this book just because the introduction section as well as the individual introductions of the selected poets, written by R. Parhasarthy, are wonderfully done! The introductions to the poets will give any reader an outline of the development of Indian English poetry through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Even the choice of poems by the selected poets is too good. Get a copy of this book from Amazon India right now:
Buy R. Parthasarthy’s book – click here to go to Amazon India 

I am sure that this collection of books will help you understand Indian English poetry in various perspectives. You should get an ample idea of its development through the ages and various decades as divided by scholars. I will also review the titles listed here separately in the coming days. For the time, thanks for reading this and all the best!

Alok Mishra

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • I really enjoy reading the book by MK Naik on English poetry by Indians. That’s amazing and just read for anyone interested in the subject.

  • Thanks for this helpful list… I have read Naik’s and King’s book and liked them. I will buy other books and will study them now.

  • I was looking for secondary sources for my research paper on Indian English poetry. Thanks for recommending these important and critical books. My task will become easier now.


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