Daljit Nagra possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary English poetry. British Museum is his third collection, following his electrifying version of the epic Ramayana, and marks a significant departure of style to something quieter, more contemplative and inquisitive, at times valedictory. His political edge has been honed in a series of meditations and reflections upon our heritage, our legacy, and the institutions that define them: the BBC, Hadrian’s Wall, the Sikh gurdwaras of our towns, the British Museum of the title poem. With compassion and charisma, Nagra explores the impact of the first wave of mass migration to our shores, the Arab Spring, the allure of extremism along with a series of personal poems about the pressures of growing up in a traditional community. British Museum is a book that asks profound questions of our ethics and responsibilities at a time of great challenge to our sense of national identity.
Daljit was the very first guest poet to read at Verve back in 2017. It was lovely to have him with us, and what a way to kick off our very first festival!
Date: 7th February 2019
Extent: 64 pp