Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire

About Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire is a Somali-British author who became known for her poetry. In 2013, she was the first winner of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize created by Bernardine Evaristo. Born in 1988 to Somali parents who had taken refuge in Kenya, she is a graduate in creative writing. In 2011, she published Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, a poetry pamphlet edited by flipped eye. She has read her poetry in various art places around the world, including the UK, Italy, Germany, North America, South Africa and Kenya. As the daughter of immigrants, she uses her poetry to establish a connection with her country of origin, Somalia, where she has never been. She herself uses this position to transmit the life of these peoples. Shire uses the influences of loved ones and their experiences to illustrate in her poetry the struggles they all faced.
Her poems have been published in various literary magazines, including Poetry Review, Magma and Wasafiri. In addition, some of her verses have been featured in the Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe , 2014). In October 2013, Warsan Shire was selected from among six other candidates as London's first Young Poet Laureate. The honor is part of the London Legacy Development Corporation's Spoke10 scheme, which aims to promote arts and culture around London's Olympic Park. In June 2018, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its "40 Under 40" initiative.

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