Internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan poet Anne Ranasinghe has passed away. Anne Ranasinghe has won numerous local and international awards for her writing including the Sri Lanka Arts Council Prize for Poetry 1985 and 1992 and non-fiction in 1987. In 1994, she won the Sri Lanka Literary Award for best collection of short stories.
Born on October 2, 1925 as Anneliese Katz in Essen in Germany, Anne Ranasinghe escaped from Nazi Germany to England.
She married a Sri Lankan professor and became a citizen of Sri Lanka in 1956. Her first collection of poems, And the Sun That Sucks The Earth to Dry, was published in 1971. Although primarily a poet, she has also published short stories, essays, and translations. Her works have been broadcast on radio and published in seventeen countries and translated into nine languages.
Drawing from her own life experiences, her writing has been described as “vibrantly sensuous or stark and deeply moving.” The Holocaust is a recurring theme in Anne Ranasinghe’s poetry and is contrasted with Sri Lanka’s violent past as in “July 1983.” Themes of alienation and minority persecution are found in many of her poems.
She is a founding member of the English Writers’ Cooperative of Sri Lanka and regular editor of its journal, Channels. Her name has been included in the Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry (Oxford & New York: Oxford, 1994). (Colombo Gazette)