Reviews

A selection of reviews for 'Look we have coming to Dover!' &
'Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!'

The National

Wednesday November 9th, 2011...With Eliot nod, Daljit Nagra reclaims Indian accent from mockers
So to find, alongside the likes of Carol Ann Duffy and Alice Oswald (a previous winner), a collection that opens with a hilarious Punjabi English take on Romeo and Juliet - "Vut a summer it was when yoo teach me to kiss/or to walk wid yor hand and not blush in public" - is not just encouraging. It's invigorating for the state of poetry, full stop. says Ben East
...click here


Camden New Journal

Thursday October 27th, 2011...Book Review
One of the triumphs of this book is that it sustains such doubleness and complexity while raising a smile or packing a wallop. As the punchbag imagery suggests, the debate Nagra is rehearsing about his part in “Empire’s quid pro quo” isn’t academic. Like Yossarian in Catch 22 he refuses to regard himself as a cog in the machine and takes history personally, so the struggle is keenly felt: “To some degree it always feels out of control in my head”, says Kate Webb...click here


The Observer

Sunday July 31st, 2011...Daljit Nagra's second collection explores linguistic identity to exhilarating effect
Even the title is a pick-me-up: animated, garrulous, entertaining and breaking an unwritten rule (since when were three exclamation marks welcomed in poetry?), says Kate Kellaway...click here

Sunday February 4, 2007...Hilda Ogden is my muse
Daljit Nagra's vivid tales of immigrant life and love are electrifying the world of poetry, says Rachel Cooke...click here


Guardian

Thursday January 18, 2007...The bard of Dollis Hill
Having the country's biggest poetry publisher take on your debut collection is a dream come true for an unknown poet. But Daljit Nagra's greatest feat is capturing the experience of British-born Indians, says Patrick Barkham...click here


London Review of Books

Archive, 2007...Nagra's work has excited attention because he deals with the experiences of, for the most part, the British Asian working class, specifically Punjabis, and employs both standard and non-standard English to do so.
Robert Potts ...click here

The New Statesman

12 March 2007...Own-made styles
The narrator of "In a White Town", a poem in Daljit Nagra's debut collection, used to feel embarrassed when his mother went to market wearing a "pink kameez and baloon'd bottoms". He admits that "I would have felt more at home had she hidden/that illiterate body". The phrase "illiterate body" tells us she cannot read and write, but also implies that she is unreadable to English people (perhaps including her son). Nagra's poems try to embody the sentiments of such Punjabi Sikhs living in England, often through his gloriously unembarrassed use of their idioms and linguistic turns. Sameer Rahim...click here


Tower Poetry

March 2007...Alison Brackenbury reviews Look We Have Coming to Dover
I took this book to Lapland. Its red cover smouldered by heated gloves, under roofs with a metre of snow. I greeted the blurb’s boast, “much awaited”, not with the reviewer’s frozen snarl but the reader’s thawed smile. I have indeed waited for this collection, tracking stray poems through the snowy pages of magazines. It is a book to fill a gap...click here


BBC Newsnight Review

19 January, 2007...Programme presented by Hardeep Kohli
THE PANEL:
Paul Morley | Denise Mina | Sarah Churchwell | Ian McMillan
click here


BBC Collective: the interactive culture magazine #275

An audio interview with a written article to go with it on the back of my reading at the Edinburgh Festival 2007...click here


Canford School

Review of a Reading at Canford School in Wimborne...click here


Star Poet Shares His Knowledge in Twickenham
By Jean Lebleu

edited October 9, 2007

Aspiring local poets were treated to a rare opportunity on October 6th when two-time Forward Prize winner Daljit Nagra conducted a poetry workshop at the Twickenham Library. Participants had the full attention of the critically-acclaimed poet who has been featured in national newspapers and appeared on BBC Two’s Newsnight Review just the evening prior to the workshop. The unique three-hour event was organised with Mr. Nagra by Praveen Mangani, Operations Manager, Library, London Borough of Richmond, and Fiona Pearson and Liliana Ferreira, both Reading Development Librarians.

The workshop was open to the public for the first 15 people to reserve a place. Participants wrote a few short poems using various techniques, read their work to the group and presented their own previously-written poems for feedback.

Mr. Nagra encouraged the group to read their work regularly. “Practice makes it easier to overcome any fears of publicly reading,” he said. He also advised the poets to share information with each other about sources and opportunities. “It’s important to learn from each other,” he said.

“There was an enormous amount of information,” said participant Elizabeth Bell of East Sheen. “He shared his knowledge like a rushing river.”

Mr. Nagra has been praised for the wit and intelligence with which he relates the experiences of those who must integrate themselves into a new culture. He first won the prestigious Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2004 for Look We Have Coming to Dover!, and again in early October this year for Best First Collection for his book of poems of the same title, which was published in February 2007 by Faber and Faber. His collection will soon be available in audio form.