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Shadow Reader | Bloodaxe Books
imtiaz-dharker-shadow-reader

Imtiaz Dharker

Shadow Reader

Imtiaz Dharker

Publication Date : 23 May 2024

ISBN: 9781780377094

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, 2014

Poetry Book Society Special Commendation

Shadow Reader is a radiant criss-cross of encounters, messages and Punjabi proverbs, shot through with the dark thread of an unwelcome prophecy. The poems bind this looming curse to the occupation of countries, the earth and its creatures, those who own the story and those who redirect it through art or artifice. ‘Does the warp look back at the one who is weaving and say, This is not how I remember it…?’

Imtiaz Dharker’s collection pays attention to wilful erasures, exclusions and also to places of sanctuary. This is poetry as music, as momentum, as the texture and taste of languages, joyously sensuous and rich in images. While it acknowledges the everyday and its shadows, it is also an irreverent, playful celebration of life.

Imtiaz Dharker grew up a 'Muslim Calvinist' in a Lahori household in Glasgow, was adopted by India and married into Wales. She was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2014 for her fifth collection Over the Moon and for her services to poetry. Her main themes are drawn from a life of transitions: childhood, exile, journeying, home, displacement, religious strife and terror, and latterly, grief. She is also an accomplished artist, and all her collections are illustrated with her drawings, which form an integral part of her books.

With 16 black and white drawings

‘Imtiaz Dharker’s poetry shines a light in the dark. She is interested in how things work, in art, in history, in politics… You cannot hear her perform without being somehow transformed by the experience. Witty, wise, profound and moving, her work crosses continents.’ – Jackie Kay, The Guardian

'Luck is the Hook by Imtiaz Dharker is my stand-out book of poetry this year. Lyrical with a compassionate humanity, Dharker’s poems have a piercing, deceptive simplicity of image and language, particularly the poems about the loss of her husband and her bereavement...Her poems have great musicality, written for the ear as much as the page. A striking performer, it is particularly pleasurable to hear her read. A talented artist, her repetition of concepts or images in new contexts weaving throughout the book is a technique echoed in the black and white drawings illustrating the book, their delicacy and simplicity of tonal patterns evoking the essence of each poem’s theme. An exquisite, deeply moving collection.' - Stephanie Green, Glasgow Review of Books (Reads of the Year, 2018)

‘This is a passionate, uplifting collection of poems about language, love and loss, grief and joy, elegy and celebration. The loss of a great love makes poems of piercing beauty. In her finest book to date, Imtiaz Dharker finds resolution in language itself, and in a world the more loved for the sharpness of loss.’ – Gillian Clarke [on Over the Moon]

'Imtiaz Dharker's new collection is the crown to a celebratory, humane, wholly utterable, subtly crafted poetry. Its dark jewels are the magnificent poems of bereavement, which will surely endure. Reading her, one feels that were there to be a World Laureate, Imtiaz Dharker would be the only candidate.' - Carol Ann Duffy [on Over the Moon]

 

Imtiaz Dharker: Shadow Reader

Imtiaz Dharker reads and introduces a selection of poems from Shadow Reader. 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. This video includes some of the drawings from Shadow Reader showing their visual connections with particular poems from the book. Neil Astley filmed her reading from her new collection at her home in London in January ahead of the book’s publication in May 2024.

Imtiaz Dharker: ‘Speech Balloon’ and other poems

Imtiaz Dharker reads ‘Speech Balloon’ and nine other poems from four of her seven collections published by Bloodaxe: ‘Speech Balloon’ from Over the Moon; ‘Dealing with the devil’ from I speak for the devil; ‘Trust’ and ‘Purdah 1’ from Postcards from god; ‘A Century Later’ from Over the Moon; ‘Chaudhri Sher Mobarik looks at the loch’ from Luck is the Hook; ‘In Wales, wanting to be Italian’ and ‘Undone’ from Over the Moon; and ‘The trick’ and ‘This Tide of Humber’ from Luck is the Hook. Neil Astley filmed Imtiaz Dharker reading poems from her books at her home in London in January 2024.

Imtiaz Dharker at Newcastle Poetry Festival 2023

Imtiaz Dharker reads the poem 'Chaudhri Sher Mobarik Looks at the Loch' from Luck is the Hook, followed by 'Undone' from Over the Moon, and then ‘The Trick’, also from Luck is the Hook. The rest of the reading features several new poems from Shadow Reader.

Imtiaz Dharker reads five poems

Imtiaz Dharker reads five poems: 'Blessing' from Postcards from god, 'Honour killing' and 'They'll say, "She must be from another country"' from I Speak for the Devil, and 'The terrorist at my table' and 'How to cut a pomegranate' from The terrorist at my table. This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets (2008), filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes five poems read by Imtiaz Dharker selected from her first three Bloodaxe titles. 

 

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Imtiaz Dharker

I Speak for the Devil

Imtiaz Dharker

I Speak for the Devil

Publication Date : 26 Jul 2001

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Leaving Fingerprints

Imtiaz Dharker

Leaving Fingerprints

Publication Date : 24 Sep 2009

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Luck Is the Hook

Imtiaz Dharker

Luck Is the Hook

Publication Date : 29 Mar 2018

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Over the Moon

Imtiaz Dharker

Over the Moon

Publication Date : 25 Sep 2014

Read More   amazon.co.uk

RELATED BOOKS

The terrorist at my table
Postcards from god

Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity


Imtiaz Dharker on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions

Imtiaz Dharker on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions

Imtiaz Dharker was Michael Berkeley's guest on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions on 26 May 2024, and read a poem from her new collection Shadow Reader.

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Poetry Events


Imtiaz Dharker Launch Readings

Imtiaz Dharker Launch Readings

In-person readings in Richmond (30 May), Hebden Bridge (9 June), Ledbury Poetry Festival (5 & 6 July) & Nottingham (24 July). Online event with Wordsworth Grasmere (26...

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Poetry Events


Launch reading by Amanda Dalton, Imtiaz Dharker and Katie Donovan

Launch reading by Amanda Dalton, Imtiaz Dharker and Katie Donovan

Amanda Dalton, Imtiaz Dharker and Katie Donovan launched their new poetry books online on Tuesday 21 May. Watch the recording on YouTube.

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