British-Indian appointed BBC Radio 4’s first residence poet

London, Oct 9 (IANS) BBC Radio 4 has appointed Indian-origin Daljit Nagra as its first poet in residence, which will see him curate a weekly programme telling stories about 20th century poetry, a media report said.

Nagra will also appear on Radio 4 shows and social media platforms, while writing original work to commission, The Telegraph daily reported.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be given such a valuable platform as poet in residence at Radio 4. This position will, I am sure, inspire me to write new poetry that speaks of our complicated age,” Nagra was quoted as saying.

“What excites me most is the chance to give exposure to my beloved art form of poetry. I will take part in discussions about the latest issues concerning poetry but most of all I am thrilled to be given the role of curator for the 90-year-old poetry archive at the BBC,” he added.

The son of Sikh immigrants from India who came to Britain in the late 1950s, Nagra writes poetry that relates to the experience of British-born Indians and often utilises “Punglish”, the English spoken by Indian immigrants who have Punjabi as their first language, the daily said.

Nagra’s latest book “Ramayana” was recently shortlisted for the coveted TS Eliot Prize.

He also teaches English at a secondary school in London. According to Nagra, he had little awareness of poetry until he picked up a book of William Blake’s work in a bookshop when he was 19 and has not stopped reading poetry since.

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