London: Pakistan-born British poet Imtiaz Dharker, whose works include 'The Terrorist at my Table' and 'Over the Moon', has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in recognition of her lifetime's contribution to poetry.
Queen Elizabeth II will present the prize created in 1933 by George V at the suggestion of the then poet laureate John Masefield to Dharker in Spring 2015, the Buckingham Palace said.
The Poetry Medal Committee met at Windsor on December 4 and was unanimous in recommending Dharker, who was born in Lahore in 1954 and grew up in Scotland before moving to Britain, as this year's recipient of the award.
"Whether Imtiaz Dharker writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus," said the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
"She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy."
Dharker, who married Indian journalist Anil Dharker, is also an accomplished artist and documentary filmmaker.She has published five books with Bloodaxe Books: Postcards from God and Purdah in 1997, I Speak for the Devil in 2001, The Terrorist at my Table in 2006, Leaving Fingerprints in 2009 and this year's Over the Moon.
Dharker expressed surprise at the award. "I still can't quite believe it. My first thought was that I wish my father were alive to hear this."
She added: "The fact that this is her medal for poets, an award from her (Queen), feels very personal to me.
"It also feels like a connection to a whole line of poets who have been my heroes, all the way from W H Auden to Ted Hughes to John Agard."
Dharker's poems are studied by GCSE and A-level students throughout Britain and, with Poetry Live!, she reads to more than 25,000 students a year.All her collections are illustrated with her drawings, which form an integral part of her books.