Ramakant Rath was born on December 13, 1934 in Cuttack district of Odisha. A poet of remarkable calibre, he has always remained largely unconcerned about readers’ responses, demonstrating a solid faith in his poetry. His poetry is full of melancholy and laments the inevitability of death and the resultant feeling of futility. The poetic expressions found in his creations carry a distinct sign of symbolic annotations to spiritual and metaphysical contents of life.
He retired as Chief Secretary Odisha after holding several important posts in the Central Government such as Secretary to the Government of India. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, Saraswathi Samman in 1992, Bishuva Samman in 1990 and India’s 3rd highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 2006. He was the Vice President of the Sahitya Academy of India from 1993 to 1998 and the President of the Sahitya Akademi of India from 1998 to 2003, New Delhi. A number of his poems have been translated into English and other Indian languages.