Daljit Nagra, Faber Poet: Burdens of Representation and Anxieties of Influence

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    This article examines Daljit Nagra's recent poetry collection Look We Have Coming to Dover! in relation to the idea of the burden of representation placed upon minority writers. While Nagra has been lionized as "the voice of British Asian poetry", his verse actually serves to question the homogenization of diverse individuals and communities implied within such labelling. The collection consists of a mix of confessional poetry and dramatic monologues, and is marked by repeated quotation from and parody of the English poetic tradition as well as a linguistic inventiveness in portraying the voices of British Punjabis: the article suggests that each of these aspects can be seen as part of Nagra's attempt to engage with his anxieties of influence. Crucially, these anxieties must be understood not only in the Bloomian sense of the writer's relation to tradition, but also as formed by the discursive expectations of a society structured by racialization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-108
    Number of pages14
    JournalThe Journal of Commonwealth Literature
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • British Asian
    • multiculturalism
    • Daljit Nagra
    • burden of representation
    • race
    • ethnicity


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