Dilip Purushottam Chitre, a bilingual writer and critic of the post Independence India, wrote in Marathi and English. He was also a painter and filmmaker. Chitre‘s tryst with literature started with his help to his father, Purushottam Chitre who ran a periodical named Abhiruchi. Chitre was born in Gujarat, but his family moved to Mumbai in 1951 Chitre‘s first collection of English poems appeared in 1960.
Chitre was one of the influences behind the ̳Little Magazine Movement‘ is 1960s in Marathi literature. With the influences of the new and angry writers in the West, who emerged as the new trend setters and rebelled against traditionalism, Little Magazine movement captured the new moods and literary and cultural trends of the East. These journals were characterized by departure from tradition, irregularities in publication, limited breadth of the middleclass intellectuals, and weak economic base. Chitre started Shabda with Arun Kolatkar and Ramesh Samarth. He was awarded a visiting fellowship by the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa in the United States. He worked as a director of the Indian Poetry Library archive, and translation centre at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal. He also convened a World Poetry festival in New Delhi and also an international symposium of poets in Bhopal. He has also been the honorary editor of the quarterly New Quest, Mumbai.
The University of Iowa‘s International Writing Program Fellowship, the Indira Gandhi Fellowship, the Villa Waldberta Fellowship for residence given by the city of Munich, Bavaria, Germany and many others have been the awards and honors Chitre received in India and abroad.
His contribution to Marathi poetry is noteworthy. His Ekun Kavita (Collected poems) appeared in 1990s in volumes. He is also published poet of English poetry collection and his English translation of Marathi poetry has acquired the space in the history of Indian English poetry. He also edited an anthology of Marathi Poetry. He has translated prolifically prose and poetry alike. His most famous translations are of Anubhavmrut of Dnyaneshwar, the 12th century Marathi bhakti poet, and Says Tuka by the celebrated seventeenth century Marathi Bhakti poet, Tukaram.
Apart from travelling to different parts of India, Chitre has widely travelled across the globe for academic and creative writing purposes. He travelled in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America as a visiting faculty of many universities and institutions.
Chitre‘s major contribution to Marathi poetry, Indian English poetry, and his contribution as a translator of Marathi into English is listed below:
His Marathi poems consist of Kavita, (1960), Orpheus (1968), Sheeba Raneechya Shodhaat, (1969), Kavitenantarchyaa Kavita, (1978), Chaavyaa (1983), Dahaa By Dahaa (1983), Mithu Mithu Porat ani Sutak (1989),Tirkas Ani Chaukas (1980) and Punha Tukaram (1990).
His English poems and His translation into English include Ambulance Ride,(1972), Travelling In A Cage (1980), Says Tuka: Translation of Tukaram (1991), Shri Jnandev‟s Anubhavamrut: The Immortal Experience of Being (1996), Namdeo Dhasal: Poet of the Underground: Poems 1972-2006, (2007), The Mountain (1998), No-Moon Monday On The River Karha (2000), As Is, Where Is: Selected Poems (2008).
Dilip Chitre died at his residence in Pune on 10 December 2009.