Daljit Nagra is from a Sikh background and was born and grew up in west London then Sheffield. He has published four books of poetry, all with Faber & Faber.
His poem Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2004. His first collection, of the same name won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2007 and the South Bank Show Decibel Award in 2008. His subsequent two collections, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! and his version of the Ramayana were nominated for the TS Eliot Prize. In 2014 he was selected as a New Generation Poet by the PBS. In 2015 he won a Royal Society Travelling Scholarship. His latest collection is British Museum which was published in 2017.
He is the inaugural Poet in Residence for Radio 4/4 Extra and teaches at Brunel University London.
A short novel that is warm, charming and persistently precise. It centres around a single rags-to-riches family and what's said is never quite as significant as what remains unsaid. The insights are about how money rots the soul, about how love must bow down at the altar of status and most of all it’s about how we turn away from wrongdoing. A minor miracle that a 115 page novel can pack-in so much so simply.
A Life of Adventure and Delight
A series of short stories about Indians living in New York. The stories are gently funny and very wise in the way they explore character dynamics, and how we struggle to find happiness. Each story is easy to read and unforgettable. Sharma is so devoted to his characters and so understanding of their misdemeanours that I came away a little more open about my flaws.
The Carrier of Ladders
A book of short poems that spring from dream-like instances and speak with wonder at the lives we have led or might lead in the world we’ve created or have yet to create. Merlin has a magical way with imagery that evokes uncanny moods which should sound cosily surreal but somehow they speak back to the human in real terms.