He did not consider himself a writer until prize

Ramanathan Vairavan won the Singapore Literature Prize for Tamil in 2012 for his poetry collection, Kavithai Kuzhanthaikal (Poetic Children).
Ramanathan Vairavan won the Singapore Literature Prize for Tamil in 2012 for his poetry collection, Kavithai Kuzhanthaikal (Poetic Children).PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

When Ramanathan Vairavan's debut poetry collection Kavithai Kuzhanthaikal (Poetic Children) won the 2012 Singapore Literature Prize for Tamil, he considered it the validation of a decade's work.

The software engineer, 55, wrote the 105 poems in his collection - on family, nature, relationships, the country and more - in his spare time. Often, he would wake up at 5.30am to put his thoughts to paper before work.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2018, with the headline 'He did not consider himself a writer until prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe