LONDON : A Lahore-born Pakistani Scottish Muslim is expected to be named next month as the new poet laureate, replacing Carol Ann Duffy.

Imtiaz Dharker, 65 would be the first Asian, Pakistani person and second woman to become a poet laureate in the position's 350-year-long history.

She has written about religion, identity, culture ans feminism.

She was born in Lahore, to conservative parents and moved to live in Glasgow as a child and studied locally.

Imtiaz Dharker's daughter, Ayesha Dharker, 41, is a Shakespearean actress who also appeared in Coronation Street. On Desert Island Discs, in 2015, Dharker said ''I am a Pakistani Scottish Calvinist Muslim, adopted by India and married into Wales.

Don't try to put me in box. I'm cultural mongrel.''

The culture department said that an appointment has not yet been confirmed and the  final decision will be taken by government to succeed Duffy when her term-year-ends on April 30.

According to The Sunday times, London, a  15-strong  search committee of  'poetry experts'  set up by Wright picked Imtiaz to succeed Duffy whose term expires on April 30.

Duffy, himself a member of the panel, had in the past praised Imtiaz for her ''unique perspective in the diversity of English-Language poetry.''

''Whether Imtiaz Dharker writes of exile, childhood, politics of grief, her cleary-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus,'' Duffy had said.

''She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that creates this immediacy.''

Dharker was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in in 2014, and as a former poet-in-residence at Cambridge University Library.

Her first collection, Purdah, published in 1989 was titled after the Muslim and Hindu practice of keeping men and women separate.

Dharker's work appears in GCSE and A-level syllabuses, and she speaks to more than 25,000  students a year in poetry recitals across the country.

While giving one talk, she explained the origin of her poem Tissue.She noticed her father had written her date of birth on the tissue paper on the back of a book.

While I growing up in Scotland, Dharker has said that her Pakistani parents banned her from going out and dancing in the evenings, instead pushed her towards focusing on education.

''I spent a lot of my time looking out over the city and the shinning lights, and feeling as if all of life was happening somewhere else, out there, somewhere I was not,'' she said.

The World Students Society thanks, The News.


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