Nabakanta Barua is well known Assamese poet with many collection of poems including Ratnaakar, Jati Aaru Keitaamaan Sketch, Mur Aaroo Prithiveer, Dolongot Taamighoraa, Selected Poems (in English). He is a recipient of Sahitya Academy award, 1975, Soviet Land Nehru award, Kabir Samman, Assam Valley Literary award etc.
He started his education at a nearby school, then joined govt Mojolia school. In 1933 he was admitted to Nagaon govt boys in class 3, from there he completed his matriculation in 1941. After that he got admitted to Cotton College, but he lost two years due to illness. In 1943, he went to Shantinikaton (West Bengal). In 1947 he completed his B.A. with English honors and in 1953 M. A. from Aligarh Muslim University.
He worked in Uttar Pradesh at Sokohabad at A.K collage , but the same year was transferred to Jorhat's Jagannath Barooah College. In 1954 he joined Cotton College and worked there until 1964. From 1964 to 1967 he worked at Assam Madhyamik Shiksha Parisod as an officer of English education . He again joined Cotton College, retiring as a vice principal in 1984.
Besides poems, Barua also took up writings for children in the form of short stories and novels when at a time; there were not even passable books written for children. He wrote many such books and continued to write for them until his death. Barua's contribution to Assamese art and literature includes 39 books in all: 11 poem collections, 5 novels, essays, short stories for children (Xeali palegoi ratanpur) and lyrics. Some of his works have been translated to different Indian languages. In 1984, he published the Assamese magazine Sirolu, later republished as Natun Sirolu.
In 1975 he won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his book Kokadeutar Har. He is the winner of the prestigious Padmabhusan award in 1976. His other honors include Assam Prakashan Parisod Award for Mur aru Prithibir in 1974, Assam Valley Literary Award in 1993, Soviet Land Nehru award, Kabir Samman and so on. Nabakanta Barua along with Amulya Barua and Hem Barua were considered the renaissance of modern poetry in the state. Barua's part in other litterateur such as novels and short stories besides poetry were also significant and most contemporary of its times. Barua started his career in writings, mostly poems, during the Second World War and boomed around post-independence phase.
He served as president of Asam Sahitya Sabha's Dhing Adhibashan in 1968 and presided over Asom Sahitya Sabha's Bishwanath Chariali convention in 1990.
Barua wrote most criticized and recited poems like "Polokh", "Monot porne Arundhati", "Norokot DonJuan", and "Crussot DonJuan".
Barua's contribution to Assamese art and literature includes 39 books in all: 11 poem collections, 5 novels, essays, short stories for children (Xeali palegoi ratanpur) and lyrics. Some of his works have been translated to different Indian languages.
Barua's latest collection of poems is called Dalangat Tamighora (2000). His novels include Kapilipariya Sadhu (1953), Kakadeutar Har (1973), Garama Kunwari (1980), Manuh Ataibor Dweep (1980), Apadartha (1981) and Patachara. He wrote eight books for children, including Akharar Jhakhala (1958), Shiyalee Palegoi Ratanpur (1956), Hat Ukare Hu (1960), Kishore Ramayan (1987), Kishore Upanishad and Umala Gharar Puthi.
Barua also has four plays Eti Geetar Janma Hal, Sukh Jatak, Abhirupananda and Patachara to his credit. He edited two children's magazines, Jonbai (1950-62) and Pohar (1969-70), and the literary-cultural magazine Shiralu (1983-85).
His Kapilipariya Sadhu was translated into 14 languages by the National Book Trust (NBT).
Nabakanta Barua died on July 14, 2002.
Awards to Nabakanta Barua :
A) 1974: Assam Prakashan Parisod Award, Mur aru Prithibir
B) 1975: Sahitya Akademi Award to Assamese Writers, Kokadeutar Har
C) 1976: Padma Bhushan, Literature & Education
D) 1993: Assam Valley Literary Award