R. Cheran was born in Alaveddy in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and began writing poetry at an early age. His two early collections Irandaavathu suriya uthayam (The second sunrise) (1982) and Yaman (God of Death) (1984), together with an anthology of Tamil resistance poems, Maranatthul vaalvom (Amidst death, we live) which he edited in 1985, are all landmarks in contemporary Tamil poetry. His most recent work is a collection of poems, Miindum kadalukku (Once more, the sea), published in 2004. In 1999 Cheran received a creative non-fiction award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada. He is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Windsor, Canada.