Moniza Alvi (born 2 February 1954) is an English poet and prose writer.
Alvi was born in Lahore, Pakistan,to a Pakistani father and a British mother. Her family moved to Hatfield, Hertfordshire, in England when she was a few months old. She did not revisit Pakistan until after the publication of one of her first books of poems - The Country at My Shoulder. She worked for several years as a high school teacher, but is now a freelance writer and tutor, living in Norfolk. She and her husband, Robert, have one daughter.
Peacock Luggage, a book of poems by Moniza Alvi and Peter Daniels, was published as a result of the two poets winning together the Poetry Business Prize in 1991, in Alvi's case for 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan'. That poem and 'An Unknown Girl' have featured on England's GCSE exam syllabus for young teenagers.
On 16 January 2014, Alvi participated in the BBC Radio 3 series "The Essay - Letters to a Young Poet". Taking Rainer Maria Rilke's classic text, Letters to a Young Poet as inspiration, leading poets wrote a letter to a protégé.
Alvi says: "'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' was one of the first poems I wrote. When I wrote this poem I wasn't actually back in Pakistan. The girl in the poem would be me at about 13. The clothes seem to stick to her in an uncomfortable way, a bit like a kind of false skin, and she thinks things aren't straightforward for her. I found it was important to write the Pakistan poems because I was getting in touch with my background. And maybe there's a bit of a message behind the poems about something I went through, that I want to maybe open a few doors if possible."
In 2002 she received a Cholmondeley Award for her poetry.
- Peacock Luggage (with Peter Daniels). Huddersfield, UK: Smith / Doorstop, 1992.
- The Country at My Shoulder. Oxford, UK, & New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- A Bowl of Warm Air. Oxford, UK, & New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
- Carrying my Wife. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Bloodaxe, 2000. ISBN 978-1-85224-537-5
- Souls. Tarset, Northumberland, UK: Bloodaxe, 2002. ISBN 978-1-85224-585-6
- How the Stone Found Its Voice. Tarset, Northumberland, UK: Bloodaxe, 2005. ISBN 978-1-85224-694-5
- Split World: Poems, 1990-2005. Tarset, Northumberland, UK: Bloodaxe, 2008. ISBN 978-1-85224-802-4
- Europa. Tarset, Northumberland, UK: Bloodaxe, 2008.
- At the Time of Partition. . Tarset, Northumberland, UK: Bloodaxe, 2013.
Audio / videoEdit
- The Poetry Quartets 6 (with George Szirtes, Michael Donaghy, & Anne Stevenson). Bloodaxe / British Council 2000. ISBN 978-1-85224-519-1
- Sonja Lehmann: Moniza Alvi’s Europa. Rewriting Myth from a Feminist Postcolonial Perspective, in: Verorten - Verhandeln - Verkörpern. Interdisziplinäre Analysen zu Raum und Geschlecht, edited by Silke Förschler, Rebekka Habermas, Nikola Roßbach. Bielefeld, transcript Verlag 2014, pp. 41–60, ISBN 9783839423998
- ↑ 
- ↑ Sawnet Profile. Accessed March 2016.
- ↑ Het land aan mijn schouder. Translations by Kees Klok. Sliedrecht: Wagner & Van Santen, 2003. ISBN 90-76569-36-3.
- ↑ Bloodaxe, ISBN 978-1-85224-802-4
- ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03pdg5d/The_Essay_Letters_to_a_Young_Poet_Moniza_Alvi/
- ↑ BBC GCSE Bitesize. Accessed March 2016.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Search results = au:Moniza Alvi, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, July 2, 2016.
- Audio / video
- Listen to Moniza Alvi reading her poetry - a British Library recording, 27 October 2008.
- BBC poetry reading 6 January 2009. (Audio, 3 mins)
- Moniza Alvi poems at YouTube
- Sawnet Profile
- Moniza Alvi at the British Council
- Moniza Alvi at Poetry and Politics
- Moniza Alvi Official website.
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