Imtiaz Dharker was born in Pakistan, grew up in Glasgow, and now divides her time between Bombay and London. Her main themes are drawn from a life of transitions: childhood, exile, journeying, home, displacement, religious strife and terror. She is also an accomplished artist, and all her collections are illustrated with her drawings. "Leaving Fingerprints" is her fourth book of poems and drawings from Bloodaxe. In these poems, the only thing that is never lost is the Bombay tiffin-box. All the other things which are missing or about to go missing speak to each other - a person, a place, a recipe, a language, a talisman. Whether or not they want to be identified or found, they still send each other messages, scattering a trail of clues, leaving fingerprints.
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 10 mm
Imtiaz Dharker grew up a Muslim Calvinist in a Lahori household in Glasgow, was adopted by India and married into Wales. She is an accomplished artist and documentary film-maker, and has published six books with Bloodaxe, Postcards from god (including Purdah) (1997), I Speak for the Devil (2001), The terrorist at my table (2006), Leaving Fingerprints (2009), Over the Moon (2014) and Luck Is the Hook (2018). All her poetry collections are illustrated with her drawings, which form an integral part of the books; she is one of very few poet-artists to work in this way. She was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for 2014, presented to her by The Queen in spring 2015, and has also received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Over the Moon was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2014. 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 had a dozen solo exhibitions of drawings in India, London, Leeds, 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. In 2015 she appeared on the iconic BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs.
‘Hers is a strong, concerned, economical poetry, in which political activity, homesickness, urban violence, religious anomalies, are raised in an unobtrusive domestic setting, all the more effectively for their coolness of treatment’ – Alan Ross, London Magazine.
‘Here is no glib internationalism or modish multiculturalism… Displacement here no longer spells exile; it means an exhilarating sense of life at the interstices. There is an exultant celebration of a self that strips off layers of superfluous identity with grace and abandon, only to discover that it has not diminished, but grown larger, generous, more inclusive’ – Arundhathi Subramaniam, Poetry International.
‘Her lucid and quiet, but strong, voice provides new insights into these troubled areas…living in a world, not just an adopted city, that is beset by terror, religious fundamentalism and the distrust/fear of the other’ – Nilufer Bharucha, Wasifiri
‘Her poems are strongly personal: intimate yet international …This wise and sensitive book shows poetry’s place in political debate, when it is crafted with skill and the intrigue of understatement’ – Martyn Halsall, Church Times.
'Were there to be a World Laureate, Imtiaz Dharker would be the only candidate' – Carol Ann Duffy.