Daljit Nagra is author of three acclaimed collections of poetry and a retelling of the Ramayana. Former Poet in Resident at BBC Radio 4, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2012 and 2014, and winner of the Cholmondeley Award 2018, Nagra is at the forefront of British poetry worldwide. The Literary Society were thrilled to welcome him to speak to students last week.
As a society established to cultivate students’ interests in the three main literary genres, Nagra was an obvious choice for poetry. Daljit was formerly a teacher and four teachers currently at Eton know him as a colleague first and a poet second. Like many good poets, he led a secret life of the mind while working at the coal face of education, beavering away by candle light, working and writing and reading. He has crafted some beautifully poised pieces, finding that thing that all poets wish to have, a distinctive voice. In this sense, Nagra is an inspiration to those who harbour poetic ambitions whilst also caught in the maelstrom of a busy life of work and exams.
After listening to Nagra’s talk, one student commented that he felt more confident about poetry. This was a testament to Nagra’s approach, which provides a secure platform in what can sometimes seem like a nebulous sphere.