Imtiaz Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video filmmaker, awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. She has been poet in residence at Cambridge University Library and worked on several projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral. Her six collections include Over the Moon and, most recently, Luck is the Hook, with poems featured on radio, television, the London Underground and Mumbai buses. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings and scripts and directs video films, many of them for non-government organisations working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children in India.

Imtiaz Dharker

Photo: Ayesha Dharker


Round Table »

A special session with Imtiaz Dharker

Tue 9 March | 15:30 - 16:15 | £7 | StAnza Zoom


In Wales, wanting to be Italian

Is there a name for that thing
you do when you are young?
There must be a word for it in some language,
probably German, or if not it is just

asking to be made up, something like
Fremdlandischgehörenlust or perhaps

What is it called, living in Glasgow,
dying to be French, dying to shrug and pout
and make yourself understood
without saying a word?

Have you ever felt like that, being
in Bombay, wanting to declare,
like Freddie Mercury, that you are
from somewhere like Zanzibar?

What is that called? Being sixteen
in Wales, longing to be Italian,
to be able to say aloud,
without embarrassment, Bella! Bella!
lounge by a Vespa with a cigarette
hanging out of your mouth, and wear
impossibly pointed shoes?

Imtiaz Dharker

From Over the Moon (Bloodaxe Books, 2014)