Sujata Bhatt Wiki, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt is an Indian poet. She is known for her anthology Brunizem (1988). She is recognized as a “distinctive voice in contemporary poetry for raising taboo issues.”


Sujata Bhatt was born on Sunday, 6 May 1956 (age 67 years; as of 2023) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Her zodiac sign is Taurus. She was born at her maternal grandparents’ home, but soon after her birth, she moved to her parent’s home in Pune. She pursued her schooling at St. Helena’s School in Pune. She grew up very close to her extended family. Her grandfather and uncles were writers, which inspired her to become a writer. She was a storyteller for all her siblings, cousins, and friends. Due to the family’s financial crisis, her father, along with her family, moved to New Orleans, United States, when Sujata was only 5 years old. Her family stayed there for three years and returned to Pune, India, when she turned 8. Later, when she turned 12, her family left India again and moved to Connecticut, United States, where she continued her schooling. She pursued her graduation at the Goucher College, Baltimore. Her father wanted her to be a scientist; therefore, for the first year of her graduation, she pursued Science, but her love for literature and poetry persuaded her to study Philosophy in the second year of her graduation. She graduated with a double major in English and Philosophy, but studying science during the first year of her graduation piqued her interest in Science and led her to take many science courses. Later, she received her MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.


Sujata belongs to a Gujarati Brahmin family. [1]IIAS

Parents & Siblings

Sujata Bhatt’s father is a virologist, and her mother is a homemaker.

Husband & Children

Sujata got married to German writer Michael Augustin in 1988. They have a daughter.

Sujata Bhatt with Michael Augustin at Dickinson College

Sujata Bhatt with Michael Augustin at Dickinson College

Other relatives

Nanabhai Bhatt (educationist)

Nanabhai Bhatt was an Indian educator, writer, thinker and Indian independence activist. He was the paternal grandfather of Sujata Bhatt. She admired her grandfather the most and wrote a poem for him “For Nanabhai Bhatt”. It was published in her debut collection of poetry, Brunizem (1988). Sujata Bhatt was five years old when herher grandfather, Nanabhai Bhatt, passed away. This piece is written in memory of her grandfather who spent many years in prison for helping Mahatma Gandhi. In this, she talked about her admiration for her grandfather’s taste in literature. A verse from the poem,

One semester in college
I spent hours picturing him:
a thin man with large hands,
my grandfather in the middle
of the night, in the middle of writing,
between ideas, he pauses to read
from Tennyson, his favourite”

Religion/Religious Views

Although she was born into a Hindu family, she respects every religion. In an interview, she  talked about her views on religion, and said,

I’m interested in Hinduism because that’s a part of my childhood. But I should say that I’m interested in other religions as well. I’m also interested in Buddhism. An Indian writer doesn’t have to be religious and doesn’t have to focus on religion. My focuses are usually connected with my childhood, and with people
whom I’m close to, who are perhaps religious. I do not consider myself to be a part of any single religion. And I am especially wary of all ‘-isms’ and dogmas” [2]UOW


Sujata Bhatt Autograph


Sujata wrote her first poem at the age of 8. She published her first collection, Brunizem, in 1987. According to Sujata, most of the poems in her first collection were written in her early twenties and revolved around her separation from India, her own memories and experiences in India, and a longing for unity with her home country. Her debut collection included many poems like Search for My Tongue, Swami Anand, and Go to Ahmedabad.

Sujata Bhatt's debut collection

Sujata Bhatt’s debut collection

She published many collections including Point No Point (1997), Augatora (2000), Monkey Shadows (1991), and The Colour of Solitude (2002). During the early days of her career, she wrote many poems which were considered ahead of their time as they talked about topics which were considered taboo and very private to even talk about. Her poems like White Asparagus and The Need to Recall the Journey talked about women’s journey with pregnancy, childbirth, and sexual desires. She also translated Gujarati poetry into English for the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Indian Women Poets. Her collection of poems A Colour for Solitude shows her deep sensitivity and understanding of paintings.

Sujata Bhatt's Monkey Shadows

Sujata Bhatt’s Monkey Shadows

In 1992, Sujata was a visiting writer at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, a visiting fellow at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and a Poet-in-Residence at The Poetry Archive in London. Her Literary work has been translated into more than 20 languages. [3]British Council Literature


  • She received a Cholmondeley Award in 1991.
  • She received the Italian Tratti Poetry Prize in 2000.
  • She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) in 1987 for her first collection, Brunizem.
  • She received the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize for her first collection, Brunizem, in 1987.


  • During college, she studied French and German because she wanted to read Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre in their original languages.
  • The poem ‘Swami Anand’ from her debut collection, Brunizem, was based on her own experience with the Indian monk and writer Swami Anand.
  • In an interview, talking about the impact of moving from one country to another on her poetry many times, she said,

    I was reading a lot of literature in translation: writers such as Lorca, Neruda, Borges, Rilke, Celan, as well as Akhmatova and Z. Herbert – to name a few. And I kept in touch with Gujarati poetry. But all along I felt that no one really spoke for me, no one had a life as strangely disjointed as mine – and so I felt alone in my writing, I felt that my writing did not ‘fit in’ with either the Eastern or the Western tradition. The poem ‘Search for My Tongue’ (in Brunizem and in the Selected Poems) grew out of this feeling. “

  • She has lived in India, Europe, and the US and has widely travelled across different countries
  • After college, she worked as a medical intern at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and also worked as a research assistant at the JHU Medical School.
  • Her poem ‘Search for My Tongue’ was choreographed by Daksha Sheth, and in 1994, it was performed by a UK-based South Asian Dance Youth Company in nine cities across England and Scotland under the name Tongues Untied. In 1998, it was again presented under the same name by the Daksha Sheth Dance Company at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. [4]British Council Literature
  • Her role models are English writer Christina Rossetti and English poet Walter de la Mare.
  • In 2014, she took part in the ‘What if Not Transformation… ‘, a modern poetry event at the Southbank Centre in London, England. [5]Oxford University

    Sujata Bhatt at the Southbank Centre

    Sujata Bhatt at the Southbank Centre

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