Daljit Nagra

British poet, teacher and broadcaster

Daljit Nagra (born 1966) is a British poet of Indian ancestry whose debut collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover!, was published in February 2007.

Daljit Nagra in 2007


  • I didn’t want to write it in OED English…As I was writing more and more I was aware that I was having it filtered through to me from various languages, various religions, various countries, and so in a sense I wanted to present it from this Western, global perspective, to try and capture something multicultural.
  • I chose to rewrite it in poetry because the original Ramayana was in poetry- the fact is, it’s sort of been corrupted into prose. In its original form it was an epic poem rather like the Iliad or works of that sort. Rather than traditional poetry, it was a verse novel, without a traditional structure. What I most wanted to do was to preserve the essential musicality of the lines. Especially as the Ramayana like so many stories, was based on a fundamentally oral tradition.
  • Poetry was a meeting of mind and heart, I felt at one with poetry itself. I like the concentrated language, the play with form, and the way you can muck around with words in a way that you can’t in a novel. Poetry allows you to be intense, because to some degree people expect it.


  • Look We Have Coming to Dover!
    • Title of poem and book
  • All the girls say they love me
    all their mums say I'm lovely —
    ever since I lived in the clouds.
    • Poem: Raja's Love Song
  • You either do it quietly and describe the Indian community in half a dozen poems or you think sod it, and go all out. The most Indian way I could think of was to do monologues and voices. [1]

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