The Kerala government has selected Malayalam poet and literary critic K Satchidanandan for this year’s Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the state’s highest literary honour, The Hindu reported on Thursday.

Culture Minister AK Balan announced the award at an event in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. He said that a committee headed by the president of Kerala Sahithya Akademi chose Satchidanandan for his contributions to Malayalam literature and poetry.

The award was instituted in the name of Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language. It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. It will be given to Satchidanandan on a later date, Balan said.

Satchidanandan, who was born in 1946, is considered a pioneer of modernism in Malayalam poetry. He has won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award seven times since 1984. His works have been translated into several languages. He is a former editor of Indian Literature, the official journal of the Sahitya Akademi, and a former secretary of the akademi.

He has more than 30 collections of poetry, over 25 collections of essays and about 20 collections of translations of poetry from various Indian and foreign languages. His first work was Kurukshetram, a collection of essays on poetry, which was published in 1970.