Kuvempu's first poetry collection, KolaLu came out in the year 1930 on January 7 with the encouragement of MAsthi, C.K. Vankataramaiah, I.H. Krishna Rao and Thirumale Srinivasacharya. B.M. Sri wrote foreword to the book. KolaLu assumes a significant place in all the representative poetry collections of Kuvempu. B.M. Sri has rightly noticed in the beginning itself the quintessence of soul and the life in the poems that ultimately endowed it with the eternality. Around this time, the works Swami Vivekananda-with the introduction of DVG-1929, BirugALi- with the introduction of T.S. VenkaNNaiah, also came out. Soon after that MahArAthri, SmashAna KurukshEtram, JalagAra (1931) and RakthAkshi (with the introduction by A.R. Krishna Shastri) came out. The creative urge in Kuvempu ensured that he continued to write ceaselessly. Between 1933 and 1980, Puttappa published several works even while taking care of the family and the profession. The long list of his works include, 1933- PAnchajanya, MalenaDina chitragaLu; 1934-Navilu, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; 1936-38- Kindari Jogi Maththu Ithara Kathana KavanagaLu (with the foreword of B.M. Sri), Chitrangada, Kanuru Heggadithi, Sanyasi Maththu Ithara Kathegalu; Nanna Devaru Maththu Ithara KathegaLu(with an introduction by Srinivasa (MAsthi)-1940); Atmashreegagi Nirankusha MathigaLagi, Kogile Maththu Soviet Russia, ShUdra Tapasvi-1944; KAvya vihAra, Kinkini, Agnihamsa, Prema Kashmira,-1946; BeraLge KoraL, Mari Vijnani, Meghapura, Nanna Mane-1947; BalidAna-1948; Sri Ramayana Darshanam vol.1-1949; Sri Ramayana Darshanam vol.2-1952; Thaponandana-1951; JenAguva-1952; VibhUthi Pooje-1953; Chandra Manchake Baa Chakori-1954; Ikshu Gangothri-1957' Krithike-1959; Draupadiya Shri Mudi-1960; Raso Vy Saha-1962; Anikethana-1963; Chandrahasa-1963; Shashti Namana-1964; MalegaLalli MadhumagaLu-1967, Vichara Kranthige Ahvana-1976; Nenapina DoNiyalli-1980.
Puttappa taught at the Bangalore Central College as Assistant Professor From1936 to 1945. He joined Maharaja College, Mysore as Professor in 1946 after A.R. Krishna Shastry who held that post retired from service. He had a special interest in teaching poetics with the background knowledge of modern science, psychology, eastern and western philosophies, and aesthetics. Puttappa strongly believed that the comparative study of the literatures and likewise the comparative study of poetics are exigent in the context of Kannada. Therefore, Puttappa evinced lot of interest in teaching poetics. He paved way for newer experimentations by juxtaposing the theories of the eastern and western MImamsakAs. He trod a new path in the field of criticism espousing the new thought he had viewed as necessary.
In the year, 1955 the Sahitya Akademi honoured Puttappa with its award for his work SriRamayana Darshanam. It was the first ever Akademi award for Kannada. The Kannada people individually and collectively through their institutions celebrated the honour. People from all over the state felicitated him. In the same year, Puttappa became the principal of Maharaja College. He organised the 33rd Kannada Sahitya SammeLana- literary meet in the campus of the Mysore University. In 1956, Mysore University conferred on him the honorary D. Lit. The State Government, in the same year, appointed him as the Vice Chancellor of Mysore University. The Kannada people acknowledged this as an omen for their land and complimented Puttappa for this feat.
Not all was well when Puttappa took the reigns of Mysore University. It was a storehouse of problems. Puttappa had to face embarrassments at times in his efforts to reform the administration. Some employees of the university were unable to digest Puttappa's career advancement. They began to create problems for him. Regardless of these hurdles, he succeeded in liberating the university from its tribulations. The greatest achievements of Puttappa as the Vice Chancellor of the university had been introduction of Kannada medium and setting up of MAnasa GangOthri for postgraduate studies and research in the Mysore University.
The Kannada Sahitya Parishat chose Puttappa as president of the 39th Kannada literary meet, an honour conferred on a great person of letters, held at Dharawada. The President of India conferred on him the coveted Padma Bhushana title for his contribution to the society in the field of literature and education.
Puttappa retired as Vice Chancellor of the Mysore University in the year 1960. Dr. Rama Manohara Lohia, a socio political thinker of incomparable intellectual stature, met him at Udya Ravi around then. Surprisingly, both pro-Nehruvian Puttappa and Nehru's political critic Lohia held the same views on the policies related to language, caste, reservation, and equality. In quick succession, the Karnataka University conferred on him honorary doctorate and the Karnataka Government adorned him as Rashtra Kavi-The Poet of Nation.
In the year 1968, Puttappa received the top most literary award of India, the Jnanapeetha award. This was again the first Jnanapeetha award for Kannada. The State Government crowned him with the first Pampa award set up by it in the year 1988 and with the title Karnataka Ratna in 1992. The Kannada University announced NaDOja award for him in the year 1995, but he did not live until it was conferred. However, the university posthumously conferred the award on him.
[Picked from Shri K. C. Shiva Reddy's book - Ugada Kavi (Poet of the Era). Translated to english by Shri R Vijayaraghavan]