Biography

My parents came from the Indian side of Punjab. My father arrived in Bradford in the late fifties then settled in Yiewsley (near Heathrow Airport). My mother came to Britain in the early sixties. My brother, Daljinder, was born in 1964 and I arrived in 1966.

We lived in Yiewsley until I had taken my CSEs in 1982 and then moved to Sheffield where my parents bought a shop, in Gleadless Valley. Both Yiewsley and Sheffield were predominantly white working class areas at the time.

Daljit and Katherine: Sun temple Konark Photo

After abandoning my science-based sixth form studies, I eventually gained A levels at evening classes which enabled me to attend Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (London University) to study a BA and a MA in English.

After graduating I did a number of menial jobs before becoming an English teacher in secondary schools. I still work in this field, as an A level English teacher and as a Learning Mentor.

I have a thirteen-year-old daughter, from my former marriage, who lives nearby in Ealing. I now live with my partner, Katherine, who is Head of Languages in my school. We live in Dollis Hill, North West London.

Escha photo

I wrote some poetry whilst in my first year at university and received extremely high praise from Professor Dodsworth (former poetry editor of the Guardian) but didn’t really pursue writing seriously until I hit 30 when I started to use the pseudonym Khan Singh Kumar. Soon afterwards, one to one tutorials with Angela Dove and then Ruth Padel proved instrumental in inspiring me to continue writing with a view to publication in poetry magazines.

My first big breaks were in Rialto (Issue 40, Summer 1998, ed Michael Mackmin) and then Poetry London (Spring 1999, ed Pascale Petit). In subsequent years further magazines published my poems. Publication in Poetry Review led to a Geoffrey Dearmer nomination. I was then received a First Verse award from the Arts Council.

In 2003 Smith/Doorstop published my pamphlet ‘Oh My Rub!’ which became the first ever Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and was one of the Guardian’s Poetry Books of the Year. Further success followed in 2004, when my poem, ‘Look We Have Coming to Dover!’ won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem, following its publication in Poetry Review.

My first full-length collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover!, was accepted for publication by Faber and Faber in June 2005 and published in February 2007.

Featured items
LOOK WE HAVE COMING TO DOVER!
LOOK WE HAVE COMING TO DOVER!

Daljit Nagra

September 2007, paperback, rrp £6.99



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LOOK WE HAVE COMING TO DOVER!
LOOK WE HAVE COMING TO DOVER!

Daljit Nagra

February 2007, paperback, rrp £8.99



BuyDetails

Listen now!
Here's Daljit reciting some of his poems:

Hear Daljit reciting some of his poems:

Singh Song

Parade's End

Look We Have Coming to Dover!