Most poets credit philosophies, natural beauty, and all things esoteric as their inspiration, but Vijay Seshadri credits his influences as American poetry heavyweights Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Seshadri is an American poet and essayist of Indian descent, arriving in Columbus, Ohio at the age of five when his family emigrated from Bangalore.
The poem that really put Seshadri on the map as a poet is The Disappearances, written as a response to the assassination of President Kennedy; however, despite having been written at the time it was not published until after the terrorist attacks of September 11. It includes a quote from Emily Dickinson's epic civil war poem of 1862, evoking both the history of conflict and the way in which Seshadri interpreted it at the time of Kennedy's assassination. The Disappearance was included in Seshadri's first anthology, a three poem publication that was released in 2002. His second book contained additional poems, as well as the three from the first publications, most notably six that were also published in the New Yorker magazine. These included Visiting Paris (2010) and Thought Problem (2009).
War is also a subject that Seshadri returns to in his essays, . He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2014, and has also been the recipient of many other awards including the 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship.