Moniza Alvi was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and came to England when she was a few months old. She grew up in Hertfordshire and studied at the universities of York and London.
Peacock Luggage, a book of poems by Moniza Alvi and Peter Daniels, was published as a result of the two poets jointly winning the Poetry Business Prize in 1991. Since then, Moniza Alvi has written ten poetry collections:
- The Country at My Shoulder (1993), which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and which led to her being selected for the Poetry Society's New Generation Poets promotion;
- A Bowl of Warm Air (1996), one of the Independent on Sunday's Books of the Year;
- Carrying My Wife (2000), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation;
- Souls (2002);
- How the Stone Found its Voice (2005), inspired by Kipling's Just So Stories,
- Europa(2008), a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize. Also published in 2008 Split World includes poems from her first five collections.
- Homesick for the Earth (2011) selected poems by the French poet Jules Supervielle with versions by Moniza Alvi.
- At the Time of Partition (2013) a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the 2013 TS Eliot Prize and won the East Anglian Writers Prize for poetry.
- Blackbird, Bye, Bye (2018);
- Moniza's latest collection Fairoz was published in March 2022
In 2002 Moniza received a Cholmondeley Award for her poetry.