Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (Marathi : ) (February 27, 1912 – March 10, 1999), popularly known by his pen name, Kusumagraj (Marathi : ), was an eminent Marathi poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, apart from being a humanist, who wrote of freedom, justice and emancipation of the deprived, In a career spanning five decades starting in pre-independence era, he wrote 16 volumes of poems, three novels, eight volumes of short stories, seven volumes of essays, 18 plays and six one-act plays. His works like the Vishaka (1942), a collection of lyrics, inspired a generation into the Indian freedom movement, and is today considered one of the masterpieces of Indian literature ., apart from his play, Natsamrat which has important place in Marathi literature. He was the recipient of several State awards, and National awards including the 1974 Sahitya Akademi Award in Marathi for Natsamrat, and the Jnanpith Award in 1988; he also remained chairperson of the World Marathi Conference in 1989. He was born in the city of Pune and spent most of his life in Nashik, Maharashtra .
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