Moniza Alvi left Pakistan for England when a few months old. In her early work, she drew on real and imagined homelands in poems which are 'vivid, witty and imbued with unexpected and delicious glimpses of the surreal - this poet's third country' (Maura Dooley). Her less autobiographical later books are concerned not only with divisions between East and West but also with the interplay between inner and outer worlds, imagination and reality, physical and spiritual. "Split World" is published at the same time as Moniza Alvi's latest collection, "Europa", and includes poems from five previous collection: "The Country at My Shoulder" (1993), "A Bowl of Warm Air" (1996), "Carrying My Wife" (2000), "Souls" (2002) and "How the Stone Found Its Voice" (2005).
Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. After working for many years as a secondary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and tutor, and lives in London. Her latest books are Europa (2008), a Poetry Book Society Choice which has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, and Split World: Poems 1990-2005 (2008), which includes poems from her five previous collections, The Country at My Shoulder (1993), A Bowl of Warm Air (1996), Carrying My Wife (2000), Souls (2002) and How the Stone Found Its Voice (2005). The Country at My Shoulder was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes, and Carrying My Wife was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002.