Ravinder Ravi (full name, Ravinder Singh Gill) was born in 1937, in Sialkot, in present-day Pakistan. His father was a teacher of Punjabi and Divinity at Murray College, Sialkot. He received his early schooling in Urdu at Khalsa School in Sialkot. At Partition, his family moved to their ancestral village Jagat Pur, in Nawan Shehar, in the Indian Punjab. He trained as a teacher, and began to work at a primary and then middle school, during which time he made a name for himself as a Kabaddi player, and continued his studies. He was active in the Prayogsheel Lehar (Experimental Movement) and published his first collections of poetry in 1961 and his first collection of short stories in 1963. His work has been hailed for its innovation and excellence. After his marriage in 1960 and the birth of his first son, he decided to migrate to Kenya in search of new opportunities as a teacher. The experiences that this move enabled greatly enriched his writing, giving him a truly global and cosmopolitan perspective. He published four collections of poetry and four of short stories during his eight years in Kenya, and he also published his first “verse-play,” which was a new experiment in Punjabi literature. He immigrated to the United States in 1971, but did not get a job. He returned to Kenya, to continue teaching there. Later, he got the opportunity to immigrate to Canada, in December 1974. He was at first unable to secure a teaching position, but continued his writing; in 1976, he secured a temporary teaching position that then became permanent. He lived and worked in New Aiyansh, in Nass Valley, BC, as a teacher, until retiring in June, 2003 to become a full-time writer. He, now, lives in Terrace, BC. Up to now, he has written and published 16 verse-plays, 27 collections of Punjabi poetry alongwith one each in English and Hindi., 9 collections of short stories, 1 travelogue, 2 books of literary autobiography, 4 books of prose and 2 books of literary criticism; he has also compiled, edited and published various anthologies of literature. His works have been published in various languages of the world, and have been the subject of numerous studies at the graduate level. He continues to write and travel when circumstances allow.
Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 1: Can you tell us about the “Experimental movement” in Punjabi poetry? ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸ਼ਾਇਰੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਯੋਗਸ਼ੀਲ ਲਹਰ ਦੇ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸ ਸਕਦੇ ਹੋ? پنجابی شاعری دے تجرباتی تحریک دے بارے دس سکدے ہو؟
Short promotional video (with English subtitles), 2: How can Punjabi flourish? ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਪ੍ਰਫ਼ੁੱਲਤ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ? پنجابی بولی کویں پرپھلت ہو سکدی ہے؟
Full interview, Part 1:
Full interview, Part 2:
Full interview, Part 3: