Mastering poetry with Daljit Nagra

Poet Daljit Nagra visited St Swithun’s in February and brightened the day with lively and impassioned renditions of his poems for both U5 and a selected group of L6 and U6 students. Daljit was winner in 2008 of the South Bank Show Decibel Prize and shortlisted in 2012 for the TS Eliot prize.

In the session for the whole of U5, he presented a poem from his second collection, ‘The Balcony Song of Raju and Jaswinder’. He encouraged the students to speculate about how the poem could be considered a multi-cultural love poem, which elicited thoughtful and perceptive comments from many. In the session for sixth formers, Daljit organised a workshop on form and the poet’s craft, showing students the ways that poets make choices regarding form and content. He also offered insights into the life of a ‘working poet’.

Katie Umbers U5 said ‘Daljit Nagra seemed very passionate about poetry and he was very good at getting everybody participating in the lecture.’

Katie Boden U5 commented ‘Daljit expressed a highly perceptive outlook on Indian-English culture. We particularly enjoyed listening to him talk about the characters Jaswinder and Baswinder. His comic and unique style totally captivated the room.’

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