Imtiaz Dharker & Friends: Carol Ann Duffy, Keith Hutson, Mark Pajak, Ella Duffy, Molly Underwood

Part of the Literature Festival Running from
Last event: Friday 22 November 2019 at 7.30pm
  • £15
    Aged Under 26: £5
    (Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee)

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  • Storyhouse Theatre

Festival Artist in Residence, Imtiaz Dharker, brings Storyhouse a very special evening of poetry readings. Imtiaz Dharker’s poems are on the British GCSE and A Level English syllabus, and she reads with other poets at Poetry Live! events all over the country to more than 25,000 students a year. Her writing includes themes of childhood, exile, journeying, home and religious strife. She will be joined by former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, one of the most read, studied and loved of today’s poets. Her poems are sharp, funny and contemporary, and also full of a literary past, whether from mythology, or Shakespeare. With poets Keith Hutson, Mark Pajak, Ella Duffy and Molly Underwood.

Find out more about the poets:

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film-maker. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library and has worked on several projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral. Her six collections include Over the Moon and the latest, Luck Is the Hook, all published by Bloodaxe Books UK, and her poems have been broadcast widely on BBC Radio 3 and 4 as well as the BBC World Service. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings around the world, and scripts and directs video films, many of them for non-government organisations working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children in India.

Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. She was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 2009. Her collections include Mean Time, Love Poems and The Bees, which won the Costa Poetry Award. Her writing for children includes Queen Munch and Queen Nibble, The Skipping-Rope Snake and The Tear Thief. She was made a DBE in the 2015 New Year Honours list.

Keith Hutson has written for Coronation Street and for many well-known comedians. His award-winning poetry has been widely-published both in the UK and internationally. He plays to packed houses and was a 2018 Laureate’s Choice poet. He is a member of the Poetry Salzburg editorial board and delivers poetry and performance workshops in schools for the Prince’s Trust. A Mancunian by birth, Keith now lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where he is Poet-In-Residence at the Square Chapel Theatre. He has an MA (Poetry) from Manchester Metropolitan University. His two pamphlets, Routines (Poetry Salzburg, 2016) and Troupers (Smith|Doorstop, 2018) were followed by his first book-length collection, Baldwin’s Catholic Geese, published by Bloodaxe in February 2019.

Mark Pajak was born in Merseyside. He has written for the BBC, The Guardian, The London Review of Books, Poetry London, The North, The Rialto and Magma. He has been commended in the National Poetry Competition, awarded first place in The Bridport Prize and has also received a Northern Writers’ Award, an Eric Gregory Award and an UNESCO international writing residency. His first pamphlet, Spitting Distance, was selected by Carol Ann Duffy as a Laureate’s Choice and is published with smith|doorstop.


Ella Duffy is a London-based poet whose work has appeared in The Rialto, The Guardian Review and The Poetry Salzburg Review. She has poems in Off the Shelf: A Celebration of Bookshops in Verse (Pan MacMillan) and Pale Fire: New Writing on the Moon (The Frogmore Press). Winner of Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2010.


Winner of the 2019 Manchester Poetry Prize, Molly Underwood graduated with a degree in English from Queens’, Cambridge in 2014, and has spent most of her time travelling and working abroad since then, in Spain, Ireland and Vietnam. Last year she returned to the U.K. to complete a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Theory. She is currently living and writing in London.

Time details

2 hours including an interval

Festival Chester Literature Festival 2022

Storyhouse’s annual festival of words and ideas returns this coming autumn.