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A Loss for BC's Literary Community

Posted: May 14, 2009

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of author Kuldip Gill on Sunday, May 10, 2009. Gill authored Valley Sutra, a collection of poetry forthcoming from Caitlin Press in fall 2009.

Kuldip Gill, Ph.D., was born in Faridkot District, Punjab India in 1934. She immigrated to Canada at the age of five and then attended school in the Fraser Valley. Gill worked in the forestry and mining industries for twenty years and then received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She also received an MFA in Theatre, Film and Creative Writing from UBC and was the recipient of the Norman Rothstein Memorial Scholarship at UBC in recognition of scholarly achievement. The University College of the Fraser Valley bestowed Gill with an honorary doctor of letters (D.Litt) in 2005. Gill taught at UBC, Simon Fraser University, the Open Learning Agency and the University of the Fraser Valley. She served as the president of the Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of BC, and spent time on the boards of the Vancouver YWCA and the Vancouver Chief Constable’s Diversity Advisory Committee.

Gill’s first book, Dharma Rasa (Nightwood Editions, 1999), intertwined English and Punjabi, life in Canada and life in India, past and present, myth and imagination. It won a BC 2000 Book Award and received much acclaim. Gill also wrote short fiction, non-fiction and reviews of poetry and fiction, and served on the editorial board of Prism International and the advisory council of Event. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies such as In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry and Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets.