Imtiaz Dharker awarded Queen’s gold medal for poetry

Mark Brown in The Guardian:

PoetryThe Pakistan-born British poet Imtiaz Dharker has been awarded the Queen’s gold medal for poetry, joining an illustrious roll call that includes WH Auden, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday that Dharker would be the 2014 recipient of a prestigious prize created in 1933 by George V at the suggestion of the then poet laureate John Masefield. The current poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, selected this year’s committee “of eminent men and women of letters” who selected Dharker; chosen on the basis of her new collection, Over the Moon, and a lifetime’s contribution to poetry. Duffy paid tribute. “Whether Imtiaz Dharker writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief, her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus,” she said. “She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy.” Dharker was born in Lahore in 1954 and grew up in Glasgow as what she calls a “Muslim Calvinist” before eloping with an Indian Hindu to live in Bombay. She later moved to Britain when she married the late Simon Powell, the founder of Poetry Live! Duffy said Dharker drew together her three countries, Pakistan, Britain and India, to create “writing of the personal and the public with equal skill”.

…Mumbai? Kissmiss?

Of course! Who is not knowing this,

that after Happy Diwali comes Merry Kissmiss!

Impossible to miss, when allovermumbai,

Matharpacady to A to Z Market, rooftops

are dancing in chorus

and alloversky

is fully full with paper stars.

Hear! Horns are telling at midnight on every street,

Happy Happy Happy! We know very well

to make good festival, and Saint Santa is

our honoured guest in Taj Hotel.

We are not forgetting.

More here.