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24 September 2014
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Literature


Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra

Do you speak Punglish?

The Poetry Festival brings many things to the city but few people could have expected to be introduced to a new language! Daljit Nagra, who is performing to an intimate audience at a Mancunian Sikh temple, told us about the new lingo, Punglish.


Daljit Nagra

  • Daljit Nagra's Punglish poetry is a mix of Punjabi and English
  • Urban Salon 4: Daljit Nagra is at the Sikh Temple in Cheetham Hill on Fri 7 Oct

You've been described as writing 'Punglish'. What do you think of that?

"I'm not sure about that word, to be truthful. It sounds a bit ugly to me, neither one thing nor the other. Mind you, my poetry itself is working with two cultures at the same time and trying to reflect that; trying to marry two different cultures and two different languages."

How would you characterise your work?

Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra

"I'd say it's set between the oral and written forms. Some of the poems are more suited to the written page in that they're quite complex syntactically. Then there are the dramatic monologues which can be highlighting the conflict that exists in relationships and, I suppose, which reflects the conflict I've experienced while growing as an Asian man in London.

"It really depends on what type of character, whether a young man or an old woman, interests me at the time - the monologues give me the chance to step in and out of character. I like that. But there are celebratory poems too, pieces which have a real sense of festivity in them."

Do you appeal to people of different ages or are you mainly a young person's poet?

"I'm not sure about that word, to be truthful. It sounds a bit ugly to me, neither one thing nor the other. "
Daljit Nagra on what he thinks of the word 'Punglish'

"It depends on the type of gig really. I seem to get a different range of age groups depending on what I'm doing. For example, if I'm on doing a performance type do, it's definitely a younger audience. But at more formal types of readings, it tends to be an older lot."

Have you been in Manchester before?

"Yes, I've been to the city a few times, either doing readings or a form of performance work. I really enjoyed The Green Room where there was a mixed audience - both age-wise and in terms of a cultural mix, if you like. That was good."

last updated: 29/09/05
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