Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film maker, awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. Well-established in the world of academia, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library (January–March 2013), worked on several projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral, and, as of January 2020, is the Chancellor of Newcastle University.
A stalwart of the GCSE’s Poetry Live program, Dharker travels across the UK to read to and discuss poetry with thousands of students every year. Since 2008 Dharker has even judged young poets on panels including Gillian Clarke, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, and Glyn Maxwell in competitions including the Manchester Poetry Prize and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. In 2011, Dharker was both elected a Fellow of Royal Society of Literature and won the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors.
Her six collections include Over the Moon (Bloodaxe, 2014) and her latest, Luck is the Hook (Bloodaxe, 2018), with poems featured on radio, television, the London Underground and Mumbai buses.
As her poetry often employs different forms of media, Dharker has also been celebrated for her forays into visual art; she has held eleven solo exhibitions of her drawings and scripts from India to Hong Kong, the USA and France.
Additionally, Dharker directs films, many of which are made for, or in collaboration with, non-government organisations working to provide stable shelter, education and health resources for women and children in India.
Much of Dharker’s work revolves around themes of home/hostland, migration, displacement, assimilation, reproductive health and liberties, gender politics, and travel.