Mazhar Imam was born on March 12, 1928, at Monghyr in Bihar. He acquired his degrees of M. A. in Urdu and Persian from the universities of Magadh and Bihar respectively. In 1951, he started working for a daily newspaper in Calcutta after which he joined All India Radio and retired from a very senior position in radio and television. Imam is respected as one of the modern poets who brought a set of new idioms and a variety of new experiences to ghazal poetry. As he also wrote criticism, he used his critical faculty to write a kind of poetry that distinguished him from other poets. Imam also pioneered free ghazal in Urdu although it could not hold the imagination of poets and their readers as it went against the essential nature of the ghazal. His experimentation with the traditional form of ghazal, however, showed his penchant for discovering the new and supplementing a literary tradition creatively. Imam passed away in 2012.