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Phinder Dulai

Phinder Dulai has worked as a freelance writer and was the poetry editor for the South Asian quarterly Ankur. Dulai lives in Burnaby, B.C. and currently works for the British Columbia government. Dulai’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and several Canadian newspapers.


Basmati Brown

Roberts Creek, B.C.: Nightwood Editions, 2000.
PS8557 .U42 B37 2000

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Written mainly during the poet’s travels through India, Basmati Brown represents a spiritual and social journey through Punjabi cultural roots while retaining a clear connection to a home in British Columbia. Phinder Dulai’s poems have the ability to seduce with liquid words, caressing the reader with Punjabi rhythm and speech pattern in harmony with English voice.

 Dream Arteries book cover



Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2014.
PS8557 .U42 D74 2014

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A hundred years ago this year, the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru set sail for Canada with 376 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu migrants travelling from Punjab, India. They were refused entry at Vancouver, even though all passengers were British subjects. The Komagata Maru sat moored in Vancouver’s harbour for two months while courts decided the passengers’ right to access – and while the city’s white citizens lined the pier taunting those onboard. Eventually, Canada’s racist exclusion laws were upheld and the ship was forced to return to India.

In his third poetry collection, dream / arteries, Phinder Dulai connects these 376 passengers with other New World settler migrants who travelled on the same ship throughout its thirty-six-year history, including to ports of call in Hong Kong, Japan, India, Turkey, Halifax, Montreal, and Ellis Island. By drawing on ship records, nautical maps, passenger manifests, and the rich, detailed record of the Komagata Maru, Dulai demonstrates how the 1914 incident encapsulates a broader narrative of migration throughout the New World.

 Ragas From the Periphery book cover


Ragas From the Periphery

Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995.
PS8557 .U42 R33 1995

Publisher’s Synopsis

A raga is a melodic composition in Indian classical music that imparts certain emotions. Ragas From the Periphery is a poetry collection that uses language as its emotional instrument. Phinder Dulai’s work represents what he calls a “submerged poetic”: that of a Punjabi writer who creates forms in the English language that have impetuses in a South Asian context. His poems are intimate landscapes which cross cultures linguistically and metaphorically, rich with the music of the written word.

Anthology (Poetry)

Dulai, Phinder. “Three Poems.” In Open Text: Canadian Poetry and Poetics in the 21st Century. Volume 2, edited by Roger Farr. (North Vancouver, BC: CUE Books, 2009), 38-43.
PS8293.1 .O64 2008 v.2

Anthology (Prose)

Dulai, Phinder. “Field Note Conversations with Oneself While Exploring Virtual Archives.” In Open Text: Canadian Poetry and Poetics in the 21st Century. Volume 3, edited by Roger Farr. (North Vancouver, BC: CUE Books, 2013), 63-71.
PS8293.1 .O64 2008 v.3

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Phinder Dulai.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 241.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017


Phinder Dulai personal website

Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press

Publisher Nightwood Editions

Publisher Talonbooks

Interview with Mark Nowak