Poile Sengupta is a novelist, poet, playwright and short fiction writer, for both children and adults.

Poile Sengupta began writing for children when she was in college. In 1968, she began “A Letter to You”, a humour column for the children’s magazine, Children’s World, which ran for nearly three decades. In the 1980s, she was a regular contributor to the now defunt children’s magazine Target. She has written columns for children in Deccan Herald, Bangalore, The Times of India, Bangalore, and in Midday, Mumbai. Her recent fiction for children includes Role Call and Role Call Again, 2003, by Rupa and Co., Vikram and Vetal, 2005, and Vikramaditya’s Throne, 2007, from Puffin. Her stories have also been included in several anthologies, among them The Puffin Treasury of Modern Indian Stories, The Puffin Book of Funny Stories, Favourite Stories for Boys and Favourite Stories for Girls, A Clear Blue Sky and Bad Moon Rising, all from Puffin, Sorry, Best Friend and One World, both from Tulika, and The Best of Target. Role Call has been translated and published in Bhasa Indonesia and Vikram and Vetal in French.

Sengupta the playwright has a book of six plays published by Routledge – Women Centre Stage, 2010.  She turned to drama with Mangalam which won a special award at The Hindu-Madras Players playscripts competition in 1993 and was first published, in Body Blows, an anthology of plays by three women playwrights, by Seagull Publishers, Kolkata, 2000.  Keats was a Tuber was shortlisted and received a special mention at the 1996 British Council International New Playwriting Competition. Samara’s Song was one of three plays in the final shortlist of The Hindu Metroplus Playscripts Competition, 2008. In 1999-2000, Sengupta received a Senior Fellowship for Literature of the Department of Culture, Government of India, to write plays for children. A set of seven one Act plays for children – Good Heavens! – was published by Puffin in 2006.

Sengupta’s book of poems A Woman Speaks was published by Writers Workshop in 1991. Her short story Ammulu was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth short story prize.

Sengupta’s first novel for adults Inga was published in October 2014 and has received critical acclaim. Suresh Menon in the DNA Mumbai calls it Booker worthy, and says, “Sengupta, the playwright, handles dialogue deftly; in prose she is mistress of what is left unsaid.” Aparna Karthikeyan in The Hindu calls it “A story that’s as brutal as it’s beautiful; told in dazzling language.”

Poile Sengupta did her Masters in English from Delhi University and later studied Children’s Literature at Carleton University, Ottawa. She has taught at college and school levels, and is a well known theatre person. She has acted in several plays and in the award winning films The Outhouse and Shaitan. She has been on the Governing Council of India’s National School of Drama, and has also thrice been on the jury of Trinity College, London, international competition of plays for young people.