A poet and a PhD in literature on “Transformation of folklore in Guru Nanak vani” from Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, Surjit Patar hails from village Pattar Kalan in Jalandhar district. He then joined the academic profession and retired as Professor of Punjabi from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.
Among his works of poetry are "Hawa wich Likhe Harf (Words written in the Air), Birkh Arz Kare (Thus Spake the Tree), Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala (Words Smouldering in the Dark), Lafzaan Di Dargah (Shrine of Words), Patjhar Di Pazeb (Anklet of Autumn) and Surzameen (Music Land).
He has translated into Punjabi the three tragedies of Federico García Lorca, the play Nagmandala of Girish Karnad, and poems of Bertolt Brecht and Pablo Neruda.
He is the president of Punjab Arts Council, Chandigarh. In the past, he has held the office of the President, Punjabi Sahit Akademi Akademy, Ludhiana He was awarded Padma Shri in 2012.