Out of a total of 655 entries, Shire was shortlisted along with six other African up-and-coming poets.
The 24-year-old Kenyan born, England-raised poet has read her work globally, and her poetry pamphlet Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth was published in 2011 by flipped eye.
The judges praised Warsan’s poetry for its combination of substance, beauty and drama. Her work was described as “…beautifully crafted, subtle and understated in its use of language and metaphor yet still able to evoke a strong sense of mood and place that touches the reader.”
“I’ve never been to Somalia, and I’m Somali. So the poems for me are a way of creating a connection to a country I’ve never been to. I don’t know how it feels to belong, or to be home or anything like that,” - Shire
Toni Cade Bambara, “What It Is I Think I’m Doing Anyhow,” from the Janet Sternbergh-edited “The Writer on Her Work,” published by Norton in 1980.
I added the publication information and a link to the page on Google books. I think it is important for us to source quotes, particularly by writers like Bambara who have set such goodness in motion, so that there work can be more seriously engaged by interested people. -jalylah
Helen Oyeyemi, Sharifa Mohamed & Taiye Selasi on Granta Magazine’s list of the 20 Best Young Novelists
gorge shots. can’t wait til i have time to tackle my massive reading list yet again.
“There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter… Once I realized that, I had to be a writer.”
Women’s History Month: March 3, Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire is a London-based, Kenyan-born, Somali writer whose powerful poetry has left me blown away each time I read it. In her book of poetry “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” Shire explores the relationship of women’s bodies to war and displacement.
Check out this interview if you’d like to learn more. If you’re a writer or poet or someone who just enjoys being knocked off your feet by words, read all the poetry!
“If our secrets are secrets because we are told to be ashamed, then we must share them.”
Warsan Shire, you are a true inspiration and an empowering woman.
i get to see her perform this weekend and i kind of can’t contain my excitement.
I sometimes use this image as a writing prompt. I am often curious to see what students choose to walk away with from this scene. The sign COLORED ENTRANCE with it’s implication of Jim Crow and racism usually lead students to write a tragic story.
And while that story needs to be written— and it has, actually— I am always on the look out for the writer who can see that there is more to these folks’ lives than just that sign.
Look at how beautifully the mother is dressed, and the girl who seems like she’s rather be climbing a tree. Who are they waiting on? What’s the woman taking out of her bag? Would she be embarrassed to know that her strap is showing? Where are they going, so dressed up?
Yes, the sign is there and it’s part of the story, but it isn’t THE story. At least not all the time.
I sincerely believe that Shel Silverstein was one of the greatest humans to ever live.
Toni Morrison (Chloe Ardelia Wofford)