Pal, Rajinderpal S. 1967-
PAL, Rajinderpal S. 1967-
Born 1967, in Punjab, India; son of a poet; immigrated to England as a small child; immigrated to Canada, 1980. Education: University of Calgary, B.Sc.
Home—Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Agent—c/o Arsenal Pulp Press, 103-1014 Homer Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2W9, Canada.
Poet. Former managing editor of Filling Station magazine. Has worked in research laboratories and as a traveling salesperson in health-care industry.
Writers Union of Canada, League of Canadian Poets.
Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book, 1998, for Pappaji wrote poetry in a language I cannot read.
Pappaji wrote poetry in a language I cannot read: poems, TSAR (Toronto, Canada), 1998.
Pulse: poems, Carnival Press, 1999; Arsenal Pulp Press (Vancouver, B.C., Canada), 2002.
Poetry has been published in journals such as Absinthe, Filling Station, Ariel, Rungh, Verb, and Alberta Views.
Poet Rajinderpal S. Pal was born in Punjab, India. As a child, he moved with his family to London, England, where he was raised, and later to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he continues to make his home. After studying biochemistry at the University of Calgary, Pal worked at various jobs in laboratory research and medical sales. Following a trip to India in 1991, Pal began to write. He credits the change in career partially to his relationship with his poet father. Pal's work has appeared in such publications as Absinthe, Filling Station, Ariel, Rungh, Verb, and Alberta Views. He also served for a time as the managing editor for Filling Station. In 1998, Pal won the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book for the poetry collection Pappaji wrote poetry in a language I cannot read.
Pal's poetry combines cultures and language in keeping with his upbringing. Although his father wrote in Punjabi, Pal neither reads nor writes that language. He was, however, influenced by the Punjabi literary circles in England during his childhood, and he believes the language has influenced his work in that respect. Likewise, his education provided him with a unique perspective on British authors. In an interview with Larissa Lai for the Emily Carr Institute Web site, Pal stated: "It would be hard to say that I am not influenced by the traditional white-bread literature that we all had to study in schools/universities (mostly literature by dead white guys). So there are echoes of [American-born British poet T. S.] Eliot or [British poet and editor Philip] Larkin in my poetry. But, hopefully I am challenging their notions of language and metaphor and symbols, as well as borrowing from them. Also culturally challenging them by placing racial conflicts in places (in form and literally physical places—London) where they didn't see any." Emily Cargan, in a review for Canadian Ethnic Studies, called Pal's work "poetry that is richly layered, humorous, sharply observant, and highly tactile. I never had any hesitations in going wherever the voice in this book of poetry chose to take me."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Canadian Ethnic Studies, 1999, Volume 31, issue 2, Emily Cargan, review of Pappaji wrote poetry in a language I cannot read, p. 157.
World Literature Today, autumn, 1999, Uma Parameswaran, review of Pappaji wrote poetry in a language I cannot read, p. 753.
Emily Carr Institute Web site,http://www.eciad.ca/ (November 12, 2004), Larissa Lai, interview with Pal.*