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Publishers for the Diaspora writers and poets Skylark Publications UK A Non-Profit Foundation

 Recipients of our Poet-of-the-Month Honour  

Phinder Dulai



An Extraordinary Achievement of Excellence as a Poet

Phinder Dulai’s critically acclaimed poetry collection dream / arteries (Talonbooks) was published in 2014. He is the author of two previous books of poetry: Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995) and Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000). Dulai lives in Surrey, BC, Canada and comes from a Punjabi background. Dulai has been touring dream / arteries since 2014, and has toured in both Canada and the USA, giving readings at universities, festivals and reading series. He currently works as a consulting editor for Talon Books and Curator of the Floor 9 Arts Salon for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in Vancouver, BC. Dulai was a co-convener on Sound Thinking Symposium 2015 entitled Voicing the City In/verse: Reading Surrey and the Super- Suburb; and has collaborated on a sound installation called The Grove – A Spatial Narrative with artists Carmen Papalia and Andrew Lee for the Surrey Art Gallery. His most recent work has been published in TripWire Journal, Canada and Beyond, Dusie, Canadian Literature and Cue Books Anthology. Dulai is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary contemporary arts group The South of Fraser Inter Arts Collective (SOFIA/c). Recently, Dulai was awarded the Word Masala Award by the Word Masala Non-Profit Foundation in London, England. He will travel to England in 2017 to receive the award.


Phinder Dulai

Patrons: Lord Parekh & Lord Dholakia

Word Masala Award

a room brims

with ideas

we catch

scratch back

step back

consider another weave

and “other” narrative

each broken piece, our soul healed

by the iridescent fall light

walk toward no conclusion

or pronouncement

to drift in silence to the floor of the maple tree in late autumn

un-owned nor repatriated

dreaming toward its own veined humanity

both are inexplicably linked

grandmother’s soft and fleshy palm

placed on forehead

her head tipped forward brushes against your brow

offers a word

jhindé raeho

continue to live







Poet’s Statement

Poetry continues to move me towards a meaningful life. There are reasons for writing a poem; I convey through words, through form and the under-pinning science of the art - information, possible ways of experiencing the world if you were to live behind my eyes and senses. I do this in hopes that we (you the reader and I) arrive at this place of solace and knowing; that there are deeper connections of grieving and mourning from the horrors of the past, that we can span across generations and oceans in a kind of stand-in for a lost communion – and as my Mataji so often said and loved to do with her grandchildren – to place a palm on a child’s head and say those words.

Phinder Dulai

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Really nice book, many many immediately touching and evocative moments. Like any good poetry collection, it would take more reading, closer reading, to fully appreciate it. The Komagata Maru section is really quite amazing, but I had deeper personal responses to some of the other ones. I look forward to returning to this collection soon.

Kevin at

Read Reviews at

Contact Phinder Dulai through one of these links:

Phinder Dulai's website:

Phinder at Talon Books:

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Talon Books

ISBN 9789889706081

Guest Editor’s Comment


Phinder is the Vancouver-based author of three books of poetry, the most recent of which is dream/arteries (2014) which contains “soul-journ to the end of the pacific,” the centerpiece of his poetic achievement. A story that waited a hundred years to be exhumed, it describes the journey of the Japanese ship Komagata Maru carrying 376 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu migrants from Punjab who were refused entry into Canada and forced to return to India. Many indignities were heaped on them by the locals while the ship was docked in port.

The selection offered here is broadly illustrative of Phinder’s style and preoccupations in his verse.

“Presence” is an intimate poem that straddles two worlds of literary experience – one is an ephemeral lightness of being disconnected from one’s past, and the other is the weight of the historical past that weighs on the troubled present.

Phinder uses the Imagist approach to language to bring the reader to a place of solace and knowing embodied in Mataji conferring her blessings on her grandchildren.

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Phinder at the Matwaala poetry festival in Austin, Texas, where he presented an audio-visual reading of the Komagata Maru series. I felt his work deserved wider recognition.

Saleem Peeradina

Saleem Peeradina's latest collection of poems, Final Cut, is published by Valley Press. See below for the links to its reviews.


Other books by the poet:

Basmati Brown:

Ragas From The Periphery: