Translation is the medium to communicate with confidence and present your literature – Poetry, Short Story, Drama and Novel to the main stream audience.

Get acquainted with the historical aspect of introducing Punjabi literature in English translation by Surjeet Kalsey in Canada:click:

Canadian Punjabi Literature In English Translation_1

Major translation work  in Canadian Punjabi poetry: Glimpses of Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry In English Translation:

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Surjeet Kalsey when came to Canada  she brought with her rich experience in All India Radio broadcasting, writing, journalism and translation, and was ready to take flight in her wings and to share her excitement with Canadian audiences.  Of course, writers do create their original works and Surjeet Kalsey has in her credit  more than a dozen books of poetry, short stories and drama. Along with her creative activities she encouraged many writers in Canada to present their works with respect and dignity, she expected from fellow writers in literary associations in Lower Mainland. Empowering other writers is an act of selflessness and Surjeet had dedicated her enormous time to include and take along with her fellow writers. Therefore, she used her well earned skills of reading manuscripts, editing, translation, transliteration, compiling anthologies and writing book reviews .  Surjeet Kalsey has done extensive work in editing and translating Punjabi literature – poetry, short stories and drama – in English and from English into Punjabi, as well as lipi-antar (transliteration) of Urdu poetry into Gurmukhi script. She presented fellow writers’  works with respect and dignity in the mainstream audience in bi-lingual poetry readings in Canada. Below is a list of Surjeet’s translated and edited anthologies and magazines.


Kanpur University, India has included Surjeet Kalsey ‘s poem  –   “Breaking the silence” from her book Foot Prints of Silence in English Literature Curriculum of  B.A. Part III in New Literature in English, the paper has been designed to familiarize the students with the writings in English all over the world .


Transliteration Lipi-Antar from Urdu poetry into Gurmukhi Lipi
Dissertations, Research Papers and Articles (See Non-Fiction)


Glimpses Of Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry: An Anthology In English Translation included works of 55 Punjabi poets from Canada, U.S.A., India, England, Pakistan, Kenya, and Sweden; edited and translated by Surjeet Kalsey, Ajanta International Press Delhi 1994; 2nd edition by Raghbir Rachna Parkashan Chandigarh 2010.
Glimpses Of Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry

Komagata Maru: translated full length play by Ajmer Rode into English and staged in Vancouver during early eighties. Simon Fraser University, Burnabyhas included in their library On-line version of Kamagata Maru, full length play by Ajmer Rode and Translated into English by Surjeet Kalsey. Full script in English translation can be read, click:

Shadows of the Past – translated from Punjabi into English selected poetry of Dr. Gurumel Sidhu, Rainbird Press Vancouver 2007 -Read whole translated script of the book at

Contemporary Literature In Translation : Guest Editor: Surjeet Kalsey, Editor Andreas Schroeder, Punjabi Special Issue,1977.

Toronto South Asian Review – Punjabi Special section (40-45 pages) as an Associate Editor 1983-1993 translated and edited
Punjabi Literature In Canada Volume 2, No.1, Spring 1983; Contributors included 15 Punjabi writers translated by Surjeet Kalsey from Canada with introduction by Kalsey and Editor: M.G. Vassanji.


What Critics Say about Surjeet Kalsey’s Translations of Literature

During the early seventies when  Professor Michael Bullock wrote the introduction of Glimpses of Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry: An Anthology in English Translation, 1977, he wrote about presenting Punjabi literature in translation:

“In presenting these translations to the English-speaking public, Surjeet Kalsey has performed a service both to the poets, whose works thereby reached a new and wider audience. As well as has introduced to none-Punjabi speaking audience Punjabi literature in Translation. Although there was a rich tradition of Punjabi poetry but it was little known to the mainstream English-speaking audience in the literary circles in until the early seventies.  Surjeet, while keeping the originality of a poem in mind, recreates an aura of feelings that transforms it  into a whole new poem. Some of the Poems included in the “Glimpses of  Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry” are testament to the aforesaid observation.  Her translation of Punjabi poetry serves both the poet and the reader, former by introducing to the wider English audience and the later by enriching the taste of poetry written in a foreign language.”                       – Michael Bullock (Late)

“Surjeet Kalsey is a Punjabi writer of exceptional ability with a critical and creative thinking. She has also made a mark in the field of bilingual translation of Punjabi poetry into English language. Her translations have appeared in several anthologies and Canadian English magazines. She is the first and only Punjabi writer who was invited to be an associate editor of Toronto South Asian Review and guest-editor of an English magazine Contemporary Literature In Translation that produced a special issue of Punjabi Literature in Translation – poems and short stories are translated by her. Apparently her calibre as a translator-cum-writer stands out among Punjabi writers living abroad.”                                                                                                     -Dr. Gurumel Sidhu



Surjeet’s love of Urdu poetry made her create famous Urdu poetry in Gurmukhi Lipi and author Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry could be found in Gurmukhi Lipi in the following anthology:

Faiz Ahmed Faiz Da Kav Sagar –Urdu poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz into Gurmukhi script (lipi-antar) included his five books of poetry. Raghbir Rachana Parkashan Chandigarh 2003. Pages 208.
The following Urdu Poetry Books of Faiz Ahmed Faiz are included in “FAIZ AHMED FAIZ DA KAV-SAGAR:
1. Naqsh-e-faryadi
2. Dast-e-Saba
3. Zinda-Nama
4. Dast-e-Tahe-Sung
5. Sham-e-Shahr-e-YaraN

Surjeet, while working as a Punjabi editor for Multilingual Magazine Shahpara during 2003-2008 had an opportunity to listen to and read Surrey’s very famous Urdu poet Zahid Laeeq and she introduced his poetry from his book Aks-e-Barmala into Gurmukhi Lipi:

Aks-e-Barmla:Urdu Poetry by Late Zahid Laeeq in Gurmukhi script Edited and transliteration from Urdu into Gurmukhi (lipi-antar)
Shahpara International Publication 2006


ShabdaN Di Sanjh: Kalman Fraser Valley Diyan – An Anthology of Fraser Valley poets included 26 poets members of Punjabi Sahit Sabha Abbotsdford which Surjeet Kalsey established in November 2008 as a founding member.

ShabdaN Di ChhanwayN –  Collected poetry of Sawraj Kaur, includes Kaur’s four books. Tarlochan Publishers Chandigarh 2010

Mun Pardesi Je Thia – An anthology of Punjabi poetry by  members of the Punjabi Writers’ Forum (Punjabi Lekhak Munch)  Lower Mainland, BC. Canada. Co-Edited, Ravi Sahit Parkashan 1993.
SHAHPARA:International Multilingual Magazine
Chief Editor: Late Zahid Laeeq, Punjabi Editor: Surjeet Kalsey  2003-2008
CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION –  Editor Andreas Schroeder invited Surjeet Kalsey as a Guest Editor for the Punjabi Special Issue,1977.
WATNO DUR – During seventies and eighties Surjeet helped in collecting material, editing, translating, hand-writing material for Watno Dur magazine and also edited a Special Women Issue, May-June 1981
Associate Editor 1983-1993, edited Punjabi Literature In Canada Volume 2, No.1, Spring 1983; Contributors included 15 Punjabi writers translated by Surjeet Kalsey from Canada with introduction by Kalsey and Editor: M.G. Vassanji

Surjeet Kalsey’s  translated works in English are included in several anthologies, some are the following:

Shakti’s Words –An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women’s Poetry, ed. Diane McGifford and Judith Kearns, TSAR Publications Canada, 1990.

Words We Call Home – An anthology of Creative Writing Department, UBC writers,ed.  Linda Svendsen, UBC Press, 1990.

Her Mother’s Ashes and Other Stories -An Anthology by South Asian Women Writers in Canada and the United States, ed. Nurjehan Aziz, TSAR Publications Canada, 1994.

Another Way To Dance – An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Fiction ed. Cyril Dabydeen, TSAR Publications Canada, 1996.

The Whistling Thorn –An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Fiction, ed. Suwanda Sugunasiri, Mosaic Press Oakville-Buffalo, 1994.

Voices Of Change: Immigrant Writers Speak Out, compilation of interviews with immigrant writers; ed. Jürgen Hesse, Pulp Press, Vancouver, 1990.

Immigrant Experiences, ed. Dom Saliani, Harcourt Brace Canada, 1995.

Glimpses Of Twentieth Century Punjabi PoetryAn Anthology of 55 Punjabi poets, edited and translated by Surjeet Kalsey,  Ajanta International Press, New Delhi 1994

Contemporary Literature In Translation (Canada), Punjabi Special Issue 1977, editor Andreas Schroeder; Guest editor: Surjeet Kalsey

Canadian Fiction Magazine (Canada)

Toronto South Asian Review (Toronto)

Between the Two WorldsPunjabi Short Stories (English) edited & translated by S.P. Singh, GND University,  Amritsar 2004.

The Tribune Chandigarh, and  The Hindustan Times, India.



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