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The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2014 to Imtiaz Dharker, a former Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library.

The Poetry Medal Committee, chaired by the current Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Anne Duffy, was unanimous in recommending Dharker as the recipient of the award, on the basis of her new collection Over the Moon and a lifetime’s contribution to poetry.

Dharker was the University Library’s Thresholds Project Poet in Residence in 2013 and composed several poems relating to the Library’s building and collections. Together with the nine other Thresholds poets, she deposited archival material arising from the Project in the Department of Manuscripts. Work by Dharker arising from her residency include her Thresholds notebook containing notes, poems and drawings, with loose inserts, and word-processed printouts of poems. The poems include ‘Ten’, ‘Stick’, ‘When the copperplate cracks (Theatrum Orbis Terrarum)’,‘Digital’, ‘Kozo’, ‘Palimpsest’, ‘Is this what you meant, Giles Gilbert?’ and ‘Touch’.

Dharker is also an artist who illustrates all her own books, and a documentary film maker. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, recipient of the Cholmondeley Award and has recently completed a series of poems based on the archives of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy said: "Whether Imtiaz Dharker writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus. She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy. She draws together her three countries: Pakistan, land of her birth, Britain and India, writing of the personal and the public with equal skill. Hers is a unique perspective and an essential voice in the diversity of English language poetry. It is a moral force – a force for good and a force for change – that refuses to see the world as anything less personal than an extended village of near neighbours sharing in common struggles for how best to live."

Ms Dharker will be presented with the medal by the Queen in 2015.