Choman Hardi was born in Sulaimani, Kurdistan, and lived in Iraq and Iran before seeking asylum in the UK in 1993. She was educated in the universities of Oxford (BA, Philosophy and psychology), London (MA, Philosophy) and Kent (PhD, Mental health). She was awarded a scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust to carry out her post-doctoral research about women survivors of genocide in Kurdistan- Iraq. The resulting book, Gendered Experiences of Genocide: Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq (Ashgate, 2011), was chosen by the Yankee Book Peddler as a UK Core Title.
Hardi has published collections of poetry in Kurdish and English. Her first English collection, Life for Us, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2004. In 2007 one of her poems from this collection, ‘My children’, was featured on the Poems on the Underground programme in London. In 2010 four poems from the same collection were selected onto the English GCSE curriculum in the UK (AQA and Edexel). In August 2014, another poem, ‘Summer Roof’, was chosen by London’s Southbank Centre as one of the ’50 greatest love poems of the past 50 years’. In November 2014 she was awarded The Woman’s Prize by Andesha Cultural Centre in Sulaimani for her academic and creative achievements. Her latest English collection, Considering the Women (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016.
She was former Poet-In-Residence at Moniack Mhor Writers Centre (Scotland), Villa Hellebosch (Belgium), Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Retreat (USA) and The Booth (Shetland). As an academic researcher she has been a visiting scholar in The Centre for Multiethnic Research (Uppsala University), Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin) and The Department of Humanities (University of Amsterdam). Between 2009 and 2011 she was a Senior Associate Member of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. In 2014 she moved back to her home-city of Sulaimani to take up a post at the American University of Iraq (AUIS), becoming chair of the department of English in 2015.