Palli Kabi Nanda Kishore Bal was born on December 22, 1875, in Kusupur village of Cuttack. Born to parents Bhajanananda Jena, Hiranmayee Devi. He was initially named as Rasananda Jena. After his mother died he was adopted by her aunt and then came the name Nanda Kishore Bal.In 1896, he married 12-year-old Kokila Devi.
Palli Kabi Nanda Kishore Bal penned his first poem titled ‘Puspa’ during his college days . He wrote his first book “Palli Chitra” in 1900.He wrote a number of poems. Some of his notable works are “Nirjharini”, “BasantaKoili”, “Nirmalya”,”Charuchitra”, “Tarangini”,”Prabhata Sangeeta”,”SandhyaSangeeta”, “Sharmistha”,etc.
He wrote a novel named “Kanakalata” first published in serialized form in Utkal Sahitya in 1913 and published later in 1925.
Palli Kabi Nanda Kishore Bal compiled a collection of songs called “Nana Baya Geeta” for children which include many known children’s lullabys such as ‘Dho Re Baya Dho’, ‘Nida Mausi’, ‘Benguli Nani’, ‘Baya Chadhei’, etc.’Gachha O Kathuria’ is one of his widely read children’s poems where he describes the importance of trees. He also wrote about a hundred sonnets.
Palli Kabi Nanda Kishore Bal’s poems celebrated the village life in Odisha with all its simplicity and complexities. From superstitions, village culture to rituals, traditions and festivals, all aspects of country life found place in his sonnets.
His novel “Kanakalata” also tells about the evil dowry system and child widows. His writings showed deep understanding of human emotions. He is popularly known as “Palli Kabi” (the poet of rural life) for his tender lyrics, celebrating the beauty of rural Odisha in his poems.