Ajmer Rode

Ajmer Rode has published more than two dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, drama, prose and translation in Punjabi and English. His works have been included in several English and Punjabi anthologies and his books prescribed in several universities in India. His first book, Vishava Di Nuhᾱr (published by the Punjabi University in 1966) expounds Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in fictional and dialogue form and initiated a series of publications on scientific and sociological subjects.  Most of his poetry is included in his 1200-page book Leela (co-authored with Navtej Bharati). Leela’s third edition is coming out soon. It was translated into Hindi in 2023 by Aadhar Prakashan, Panchkula, India. In awarding Leela their 2011 poetry prize, the jury members of Anād Foundation, Delhi, commented: “Leela remains unparalleled in the history of Punjabi literature for its courage to explore and experiment with poetic word, cultural memory and our day-to-day existential struggle.”

Rode is a founder of Canadian Punjabi drama and has written and directed 10 plays. His full length play Komagata Maru, recently digitized and published on-line by Canada’s Simon Fraser University, was the first full-length Punjabi play staged in Canada. His English play, Rebirth of Gandhi, was premiered in Surrey Arts Center in 2004. His translations include the English translation of classic Punjabi novel, Marhi Da Diva, published as The Last Flicker by India’s Sahitya Akademy, Delhi.

In October 2010 Rode was invited to take part in the Commonwealth Writers Meet in Delhi where writers from 40 countries participated. In 2008 the Canada Council sponsored him to participate in another international poetry festival, Kriti, held in Chandigarh. He is among 8 international poets whose English poems have been inscribed in bronze on a public wall outside the office of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation complex in downtown Seattle. His poem Kalli is included in a recent anthology, 100 Great Indian Poems, published by Bloomsbury India. His poem Mustard Flowers was included in “11 Groundbreaking Works of 2018” published by the NY based international poetry organization, Words Without Borders. The American Academy of Poets published “Mustard Flowers” on their widely read website, Poem-a-Day | Poets.org, and also included it in their “Teach This Poem” series for K-12 students in the U.S. schools. Canada’s Yukon University is the latest to include his poetry in a literary salone (Winter 2023) for discussion on the topic “What can Poems do?” Rode’s poems have been translated into Hindi, Greek, Irish, Italian and Romanian.

Rode has been an active member of the Punjabi Writers Forum, Vancouver. He was on the National Council of The Writers Union of Canada in 1994 and chaired its Racial Minority Writers Committee. He has also served on the Canada Council and BC Arts Council juries to award grants to creative writers.

Before becoming a full-time writer in 1994, Rode was an engineer and worked as Assistant Professor, computer engineer, Planning Engineer and a Global Warming Expert at various institutions and companies.

Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 1: How did the Punjabi community in B.C. adapt their language in the 1960s? ਬੀ ਸੀ ਦੀ। ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਕਮਿਊਨਿਟੀ ਨੇ 1960s ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੀ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਬਦਲੀ? بی سی دی پنجابی کمیونٹی ۱۹۶۰دی دہای وچ اپنی زبان کیویں بدلی؟

Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 2: What is the play “Rebirth of Gandhi” about? ਨਾਟਕ “Rebirth of Gandhi” ਕਿਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਹੈ? کس بارے ہے؟ “Rebirth of Gandhi” ڈرامہ

Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 3: How do you choose a language? ਤੁਸੀਂ ਇੱਕ ਬੋਲੀ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਚੁਣਦੇ ਹੋ? تسیں اک زبان دا انتخاب کویں کردے ہو؟

Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 4: What is the relationship of a writer with the world? ਇੱਕ ਲੇਖਕ ਦਾ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਕੀ ਸੰਬੰਧ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ? اک ادیب دا دنیا دے نال کی تعلق ہوندا ہے؟

Full interview with Ajmer Rode, Part 1:

Full interview with Ajmer Rode, Part 2:

Full interview with Ajmer Rode, Part 3:

Full interview with Ajmer Rode, Part 4: