Jeet Thayil is a critically-acclaimed contemporary Indian poet. He is also a writer, performance poet and musician. His poetry collections, include These Errors Are Correct, English. He is also the editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets.
Jeet was born in Kerala and studied in Hong Kong, New York and Mumbai. As a songwriter and guitarist, he worked with Bombay Down (NYC) in the past. He has received grants and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, among a few others.
Thayil has also come out with a fiction,Narcopolis, which is called a disturbing tale based in Mumbai by critics. He says that like many poets he was an addict too for almost two decades: "I spent most of that time sitting in bars, getting very drunk, talking about writers and writing. And never writing. It was a colossal waste. In two years I've done more than I did in 20 years. I feel very fortunate that I got a second chance." These days, he says, he is only addicted to poetry and coffee. "Coffee's much easier to get than heroin."
Fellow poet Vijay Seshadri comments of Thayil’s work: “He seems to be one of the most contemporary writers I know, and contemporary precisely because he has such command of the poetic and historical past, and because his invented language has such depth, archaeological richness, and reality.”
Speaking about India’s development in different walks of life, Jeet Thayil, says, "I think one very fine way to tell the development of a society is how it treats its poets, its gay people, and its women." "And in those three areas, we really are backward… (however) Young people today read poetry, they buy books, they read poetry on the Internet. The Internet has taken poetry out of that academic conversation, which has to happen if poetry's going to live. "
In Jeet Thayil’s case, the return to India proved to benefit his literary career in many ways.