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Dharker, Imtiaz

Imtiaz Dharker

Elected: 2010

Year of birth: 1954

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 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 and Luck is the Hook (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 25,000 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. She was 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.

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Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.