Seawrite winner succumbs to flu
Kanokphong Songsomphan, the winner of the Seawrite Award in 1996, died yesterday of lung complications at a hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat. He was 40.
Chamlong Fangcholjit, a fellow Seawrite laureate, paid tribute to Kanokphong as a gifted writer who won the award before his 30th birthday and said the author had been a role model for young writers.
Kanokphong was admitted to Nakharin Hospital last week for treatment for influenza and was discharged after three days. His condition returned during the cold snap and he was re-admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
Uruda Khowin, Kanokphong’s widow, quoted doctors as saying that he succumbed to a severe lung infection that led to respiratory failure. His body is now in his home province of Songkhla for a funeral that has not yet been scheduled.
Kanokphong, a college dropout, won the Seawrite for a compilation of short stories “Phaendin Uen” (“Another Land”) when he was 29. His other award-winning work includes “Saphan Khard” (“The Broken Bridge”), which was translated into Japanese.
He had his first poem “Khwamjing Thee Pen Pai” (“The Truth That Is”) published in a local newspaper when he was 15, and another piece when he was 18, when he jointly founded the Nakhon Group – a working panel to conserve culture and literature in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The group later became a successful printing house, publishing several of his books including “Phaendin Uen”.
Kanokphong dropped out of his management-science course at Prince of Songkhla University to pursue his interest in writing. After leaving university, he travelled in the Luang mountains in Nakhon Si Thammarat to study the community’s wisdom before he started to write.