IndianAmerican Doctor Becomes Ohio’s First Poet Laureate

Attending to patients amidst a busy hospital and crafting award-winning poetry may seem like two disparate occupations. But for Amit Majmudar of Columbus, Ohio, combining a passion for writing with his hectic schedule as a doctor comes naturally. The son of immigrants from India, Dr. Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist, and has also just been appointed Ohio’s first poet laureate. Governor John Kasich touched on Dr. Majmudar’s unconventional career path last month, when he announced the poet laureate appointment, noting that “our first poet laureate will bring a unique perspective to this new role and is a powerful example to our young people that regardless of what career path they choose to pursue, they can always tap into their other passions.” [See Greater Cleveland Native Amit Majmudar Named As Ohio’s First poet laureate by Gov. John Kasich, by Robert Higgs,, 17.Dec.2015.]

The poet laureate position was created in 2014 through state legislation, and the Ohio Arts Council sifted through more than fifty applications before narrowing them down to four finalists. The selection committee was ultimately impressed by Dr. Majmudar’s ability to explore multiple topics in his poetry, including religion and politics. “For me, it was his passion that was expressed in his poetry that set him apart,” as explained to the Toledo Blade by Eric Kearney, a former state senator who served on the election committee. Dr. Majmudar’s poetry has appeared in national publications, including The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. In 2011, his poetry collection, Heaven and Earth, received the Donald Justice Prize, a national poetry award. He has also published two novels.

For Dr. Majmudar, the two-year appointment, which officially commended on January 1st, is the culmination of a lifelong zeal for the written word. “I was a literature person for years before I became a doctor,” Dr. Mujumdar told the Toledo Blade. “Medicine is my work, but I don’t regard writing as work. I regard it as play. It’s how I unwind and relax.” Dr. Majmudar, who was educated at the University of Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University, plans to maintain his busy schedule, attending to patients at Radiology, Inc., while implementing his goals as poet laureate. He wants to promote poetry by establishing a link with Ohio’s blossoming arts community and also hopes to share his love of writing with area high school students. [See Ohio’s 1st Poet Laureate a Physician, by Ken Gordon, Toledo Blade, 23.Dec.2015.]

While Dr. Majmudar worked hard towards a rewarding career in medicine, he didn’t leave behind his passion for writing. Rather, he honed his craft for poetry while sustaining a challenging professional life helping to heal his patients. Now, his dedication to the written word has been recognized and honored, and he has the opportunity to share his love of poetry with young people in the community. Dr. Majmudar’s journey to become Ohio’s first poet laureate is one of drive, commitment, and a spirit to succeed in any avenue – a perfect testament to the American dream.


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