Amarjit Chandan was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1946, and lives and works in London. He has published seven collections of poetry and four books of essays in Punjabi and his poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines world-wide. He has edited and translated into Punjabi about thirty anthologies of Indian and world poetry and fiction by, among others, Brecht, Neruda, Ritsos, Hikmet, Cardenal, Martin Carter and John Berger.
He was one of ten British poets selected by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, on National Poetry Day in 2001, and he participated in the International Aldeburgh Poetry Festival the same year. He has given many readings throughout the world including at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest and, in the USA, at the University of California Santa Barbara and Columbia University.
He has received numerous literary awards for his work, including the Life-time Achievement Award by the Language Department of the Punjab Government, India in 2004; the Life-time Achievement Award by the Panjabis in Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group, London in 2006; and the Life-time Achievement Award by the Anad Foundation New Delhi in November 2009.
A short poem by Amarjit Chandan in both Punjabi and English is engraved in granite by the artist Alec Peever and installed in a square in Slough High Street.
Peacock by Kuldip Powar.
'Peacock' is a short 10-min experimental film that uses a 'call and response' methodology between Kuldip Powar (Tamasha Associate Artist), Madi Boyd (Visual Artist) and Ruth Chan (Composer). Taking the theme of the peacock - the film explores the poetry of award winning Poet Amarjit Chandan. The poems are voice-overed by the poet with English sub-titles and it sets into motion a multi-disciplinary experience that layers the poetry with new meanings through visual motifs and sound.
The Peacock poems are in the collection Sonata for Four Hands