Love Poems (signed edition)

Illustrated by Mikki Lee

Selected and introduced by Imtiaz Dharker

Romantic, passionate, unrequited, lost and embittered: infinite expressions of love are collected in Love Poems; a unique Folio Society edition selected by the ‘world poet laureate’ Imtiaz Dharker. This special collector’s edition is signed by Imtiaz Dharker and Mikki Lee.

‘If there were to be a World Laureate, then for me the role could only be filled by Imtiaz Dharker.’
  1. Carol Ann Duffy


Author of six books, acclaimed British poet, artist and filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker is fondly referred to as the ‘world poet laureate’, such is her global renown. For this exclusive new Folio Society anthology of more than 150 poems, Dharker researched and collected the work of ancient and contemporary voices from around the world, both widely and lesser known. Traversing culture, language and time, Love Poems is a wonderfully eclectic selection of emotive human responses to love through the medium of poetry, from Rumi, Shakespeare and Christina Rosetti to Philip Larkin, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Ann Duffy. Korean-American illustrator and designer Mikki Lee won the prestigious Book Illustration Competition (a collaboration between The Folio Society and House of Illustration). Here, she celebrates the cultural diversity of the collection through a series of highly stylised and dreamlike artworks, while a metallic blocked-cloth binding, textured Cloud Dragon paper endpapers, stunning blocked slipcase and twin ribbon markers complete this beautiful edition, perfect for gifting or adding to your own collection.

Bound in blocked denim

Set in Minion

264 pages

Frontispiece and 7 integrated colour illustrations

2 ribbon markers

Textured ‘Cloud Dragon’ endpapers

Coloured tops

Blocked slipcase

10˝ x 6¾˝

‘Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you.’
  1. from ‘To a Stranger’ by Walt Whitman

From tempestuous and passionate to subtle and pensive, the wide-ranging voices and experiences in Love Poems will resonate with readers of all ages. Dharker has skilfully woven a narrative through her selection, with poems loosely grouped around themes rather than arranged according to geography or timeline. The ebb and flow of style, length, era and language is refreshing and fluid, as love is portrayed in myriad ways. There are chance encounters in Walt Whitman’s ’To a Stranger’ and Vladimír Holan’s ‘Meeting in a Lift’; passionate love is portrayed in Emily Dickinson’s ‘Wild nights – Wild nights!’ and Petronius’ ‘Good god, what a night that was’; and loss is keenly felt in R. S. Thomas’s ‘A Marriage’. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes appear together in print as in life, and the yearning for an absent love is simply and beautifully portrayed in Constantine Cavafy’s ‘Come back’. Snippets of Sappho are translated from Greek, while Arabic, Catalan, Tamil, Chinese, Irish and French are among the many native languages of the poets included in this emotive and joyful collection.

Winner of the prestigious Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2014, Dharker is a prominent figure in the poetry sphere, but she is also an award-winning filmmaker and globally exhibited artist. Born in Pakistan, Dharker works between Britain and India and is widely published and exhibited around the world. In Love Poems, she has embraced the cultural diversity of classical and contemporary poetry, delving into archives for little-known poems, while also showcasing the better-known stalwarts of the poetry canon. An exciting, fresh and diverse collection, the poems are complemented by Mikki Lee’s stunning artwork. Winner of the prestigious Book Illustration Competition, Lee’s prize commission is a beautiful interpretation of the work that sets apart this unique volume that will be treasured by poetry fans.

Born in Pakistan and raised in Scotland, Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and documentary-film maker. In 2014, she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate from SOAS and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2020, she became the Chancellor of Newcastle University. Dharker is a truly global poet, whose work speaks with great emotional intelligence to those of us who feel adrift in the world we live in. Her collections include Purdah (1988), Postcards from God (1997), I Speak for the Devil (2001), Leaving Fingerprints (2009), Over the Moon (2014) and Luck is the Hook (2018).

Mikki Lee is a second generation Korean-American illustrator based in Los Angeles, with an Illustration degree focusing on Entertainment Arts from ArtCenter College of Design. She is a digital artist and has provided set design artwork for the Netflix show, Atypical, as well as work on indie film posters and branding illustrations for a restaurant. She occasionally assists Victo Ngai.


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