Mohammad Ismail is an Indian Telugu-language poet, critic, academic and university administrator. He was born in Kavali, Nellore district. He completed his education in Kakinada and Waltair. While he was studying at Pithapuram Raja's College at Kakinada, the poet Devulapalli Krishna Sastri was one of his teachers and a neighbor. Ismail considered Krishna Sastry and Rabindranath Tagore his mentors. While at school, he initially became a Marxist and a student activist, but turned away from it. Later influences included Brahmo Samaj, including one of its exponents, Peddada Ramaswamy; the writings of "Tarakam"; Krishna Shastri and Chalam. A philosophy student, he went on to receive a master's degree from Andhra University, then worked as a lecturer in philosophy at Kakinada, Anantapur and Vijayawada. He was also a principal in his alma mater, Pithapuram Raja Government College.