Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Chatto & Windus, 2022
With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a girl who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way toward womanhood. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls. These are noisy lives, full of music and weeping and surahs. These are fragrant lives, full of blood and perfume and jasmine. These are polychrome lives, full of moonlight and turmeric and kohl.
The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of survival. Each reader will come away changed.
Warsan Shire is a Somali-British writer and poet born in Nairobi and raised in London. She has written two chapbooks, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth and Her Blue Body. She was awarded the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize and served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London. Shire wrote the poetry for the Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade and Disney film Black Is King in collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She also wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising highlighting the voices and faces of Somali girls in Africa’s largest refugee camp. Warsan lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is her first full collection.