Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film-maker. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014.She received the Cholmondeley Award and an Honorary Doctorate from SOAS, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2020 she became the Chancellor of Newcastle University. Her collections include Purdah (Oxford University Press), Postcards from god, I speak for the devil and The terrorist at my table (all published by Penguin India and Bloodaxe Books UK), Leaving Fingerprints, Over the Moon, Luck is the Hookand her latest, Shadow Reader (May 2024, Bloodaxe Books UK). Her poems are on the British GCSE and A Level English syllabus, and she reads with other poets at Poetry Live! events all over the country to more than 36,000 students a year. She has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library, worked on a series of poems based on the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral as well as projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull. The inaugural Poet of the Fair at London Book Fair, her poems have been broadcast widely on BBC Radio 3 and 4 as well as the BBC World Service. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings in India, London, New York and Hong Kong. She scripts and directs films, many of them for non-government organisations in India, working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children.
‘Whether she writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief, her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus. She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy.
If there were to be a World Laureate, then for me the role could only be filled by Imtiaz Dharker.’
Carol Ann Duffy
'Imtiaz Dharker’s poetry shines a light in the dark. She is interested in how things work, in art, in history, in politics… You cannot hear her perform without being somehow transformed by the experience. Witty, wise, profound and moving, her work crosses continents.’
Jackie Kay, The Guardian