Imtiaz Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video filmmaker and was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. She has been poet in residence at Cambridge University Library, completed a series of poems based on the archives of St Paul’s Cathedral, and has worked on projects across artforms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull. Her collections include Postcards from god, I speak for the devil, The terrorist at my table, Leaving Fingerprints, Over the Moon and the latest, Luck Is the Hook, all published by Bloodaxe Books. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings in India, London, New York and Hong Kong, and also scripts and directs video films, many of them for NGOs working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children in India.

Photo: Ayesha Dharker


Poetry Centre Stage »

Don’t miss our final headliner poet of the festival, Imtiaz Dharker

Sun 10 March | 17:00 - 18:00 | £5.00/£4.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

The StAnza Masterclass »

Led by Imtiaz Dharker

Sun 10 March | 11:15 - 12:45 | £5.00/£4.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


The trick

In a wasted time, it’s only when I sleep
that all my senses come awake. In the wake
of you, let day not break. Let me keep
the scent, the weight, the bright of you, take
the countless hours and count them all night through
till that time comes when you come to the door
of dreams, carrying oranges that cast a glow
up into your face. Greedy for more
than the gift of seeing you, I lean in to taste
the colour, kiss it off your offered mouth.
For this, for this, I fall asleep in haste,
willing to fall for the trick that tells the truth
     that even your shade makes darkest absence bright,
     that shadows live wherever there is light.

Imtiaz Dharker

From Luck is the Hook (Bloodaxe Books, 2018)