Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh has been chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2016.

His nomination was decided at a meeting of the Jnanpith selection board chaired by writer and scholar Namwar Singh.

Instituted in 1961, the award by Bharatiya Jnanpith recognises Indian literatteurs who write in one of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule Eight of the Indian Constitution.

A prolific poet, critic and academician, Ghosh is an authority on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. His poetic idiom and experiments with various poetic forms mark his greatness as a creative talent.

He is a poet with an eye to social milieu and his poems record both his time and space in a rare poetic style. His poems are often laden with messages, but are free from polemics.

Born in 1932, Ghosh has penned several poems including ‘Adim lata-gulmomay’, ‘Murkha baro, samajik nay’, ‘Kabir abhipray’, ‘Mukh dheke jay bigyapane’ and ‘Babarer prarthana’, that went on to become classic creations.

It is his unique form and feeling, particularly in ‘Dinguli Raatguli and ‘Nihita Patalchaya’, that have inspired a whole generation of modern poetry.

His works have also been translated widely into several Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Punjabi and Malayalam, as well as into some foreign languages.

He has a style that is lyrical and reflective, often portraying a sense of anguish towards the superficiality of the society and existence.

Ghosh has also been the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Narsingh Das Puraskar, Saraswati Samman, and Rabindra Puraskar among others.

Last year the Jnanpith award was given to Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhary.

The recipients of the award are given a cash prize, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.