Born in Faridkot District, Punjab, India, to Bhagwant Kaur Gill, and Indar Singh Gill, on February 18, 1934, Kuldip Gill immigrated to Canada at age five with her mother and brother Kalvan on the Empress of Japan. She lived in New Westminster, Mission, Ladner and Mission again, where she was among the last class to graduate from the old Mission High School in 1952. Like her father, she worked in the lumber industry,but also worked in the mining industry. She earned her graduate degree in social anthropology from the University of British Columbia, then her Doctorate in Anthropology in 1988. She also received her MFA in Theatre, Film and Creative Writing (UBC, 2004) and taught at UBC, SFU, the Open University in Burnaby and UCFV. She was the first "Poet in Residence" at UCFV. She also studied creative writing at Langara College (Vancouver), Banff School of Fine Arts, and Booming Ground Writers Community (1999)at UBC.

Gill wrote short fiction, non-fiction, reviews of poetry and fiction, and she translated poetry from Punjabi to English. Her poetry aired on CBC and she was featured on CBC's North by Northwest, as well as on Co-op Radio in Vancouver. She read in many venues across Canada and her work appeared in numerous periodicals. She served on the editorial board of Prism International, the boards of the Vancouver YWCA and the Vancouver Chief Constable's Diversity Advisory Committee, and she was president of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of B.C.

In her first book of poetry, Dharma Rasa (Nightwood, 1999), she wrote an Indo-Canadian family narrative as a series of lessons, travelogues and love-letters. For example: "Come soon. Before the war. / I'll tell you what you will need to bring: / sweaters for the children, books, / seeds, are hard to get. Bring yourself. Yourself, / and surma for your beautiful green eyes. / I am your beloved Inderpal Singh, / who would spread flower petals for you, / and fly to you on feathers, if I could.";

Her chapbooks are Kildeer's Dance (Colophon Books, 1999), a limited edition broadside in The Poet's Series, illustrated by Jim Rimmer of Pie Tree Press; Cornelian, Turquoise & Gold, (Collophon Books, 2003); and Ghazals: Rai and Sohni (Froghollow Press, 2003).

Dr. Kuldip Gill died on May 10th, 2009 at Abbotsford Regional Hospital after a brief illness.

In 2005 she received an Honorary Degree Doctor of Letters (D. Litt)., In 2003 she received The Norman F. Rothstein Memorial Scholarship from UBC in recognition of academic achievement. Also: 2002 The Banff Centre ALTA - 3 bursaries in recognition of her work as a writer. 2002 - The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (For service to the community and the country) 2000 - BC 2000 Book award for Dharma Rasa, her book of poetry.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Valley Sutra


Dharma Rasa (Nightwood, 1999). 0-88971-170-4
Valley Sutra (Caitlin, 2009). $16.95 978-1-894759-36-6

[BCBW 2009] "Poetry" "Indo-Canadian"