Look We Have Coming To Dover
Published by Faber and Faber: 2017
The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times & The New Statesman
poetry Book of the Year
I was born in England to parents who are traditional Sikh Punjabis and my collection is about the Britain where Indians came and settled. The reader should expect to be immersed in a community that often feels its values are self-evident. My community and its individuals intend to show their true colours. I hope the reader will experience this Britain from the ‘inside’.
The collection is heavily populated with first generation characters and their second and third generation descendants. I have sought to explore their thoughts, feelings and cultural attitudes towards their own community, other ethnic communities and the indigenous white population. I am interested in the diversity that exists within this small community. There is no consistent attitude across the poems. I have simply tried to be responsive to the practical and emotional needs of the character(s) in each poem.
As it is my own community that I am generally exploring, committing to such a fixed form as the English language in a poem on a page of a book has inevitably led to some struggle and some overheating. This is manifest in the words, grammar, syntax and rhythms of many of the poems. I hope this friction adds a vibrancy and excitement in line with the characters and their situations.
The poems are intended to be comic as well as enlightening experiences for the reader. Often my characters either seek to be funny or are exposed for their comedic value. For me this is a heartfelt empathy for their circumstances.
90th Anniversary Poetry Editions
In 2019, my debut was selected among ten books to celebrate Faber & Faber’s 90 years of poetry publication. It was selected alongside books by TS Eliot, WH Auden, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney.