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Leaving Fingerprints

Leaving Fingerprints

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Imtiaz Dharker was born in Pakistan, grew up in Glasgow, and now divides her time between Bombay and London. Her main themes are drawn from a life of transitions: childhood, exile, journeying, home, displacement, religious strife and terror. She is also an accomplished artist, and all her collections are illustrated with her drawings. Leaving Fingerprints is her fourth book from Bloodaxe.

In these poems, the only thing that is never lost is the Bombay tiffin-box. All the other things which are missing or about to go missing speak to each other – a person, a place, a recipe, a language, a talisman. Whether or not they want to be identified or found, they still send each other messages, scattering a trail of clues, leaving fingerprints.

"Hers is a strong, concerned, economical poetry, in which political activity, homesickness, urban violence, religious anomalies, are raised in an unobtrusive domestic setting, all the more effectively for their coolness of treatment."
Alan Ross, The London Magazine

"Here is no glib internationalism or modish multiculturalism… Displacement here no longer spells exile; it means an exhilarating sense of life at the interstices. There is an exultant celebration of a self that strips off layers of superfluous identity with grace and abandon, only to discover that it has not diminished, but grown larger, generous, more inclusive."
Arundhathi Subramaniam, Poetry International

"Her lucid and quiet, but strong, voice provides new insights into these troubled areas… living in a world, not just an adopted city, that is beset by terror, religious fundamentalism and the distrust/fear of the other"
Nilufer Bharucha, Wasifiri
"Her poems are strongly personal: intimate yet international… This wise and sensitive book shows poetry’s place in political debate, when it is crafted with skill and the intrigue of understatement"
Martin Halsall, Church Times

Imtiaz Dharker was born in Pakistan and grew up a Muslim Calvinist in a Lahori household in Glasgow, before eloping with a Hindu Indian to live in Bombay. She now lives between India, London and Wales. She is an accomplished artist and documentary film-maker, and has published four books with Bloodaxe, Postcards from god (including Purdah) (1997), I Speak for the Devil (2001), The terrorist at my table (2006) and Leaving Fingerprints (2009), all including her own drawings.