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Hunt for next poet laureate still on as Imtiaz Dharker says no to job

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Pakistani-born British poet declines ‘huge honour’ as speculation switches to remaining contenders to succeed Carol Ann Duffy

The acclaimed poet Imtiaz Dharker has turned down the poet laureateship, the highest honour in British poetry, citing a need to focus on her writing – and despite reports that she was set to be named as the next holder of the position.

“I had to weigh the privacy I need to write poems against the demands of a public role. The poems won,” Dharker, who was born in Pakistan and grew up in Glasgow, said. “It was a huge honour to be considered for the role of poet laureate and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and encouragement from all over the world.”

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