Through her role as London's first Young Poet Laureate, Warsan Shire turned her eye to the city, interrogating the capital and its continuing transformation, even while lending voice to its oft unheard or under-represented communities and spaces. Collecting work authored during Shire's tenure, 'Her Blue Body' stands as testament and witness, negotiating the complexities of heritage, cultural sensitivity, sensuality, trauma and womanhood, framed and ordered by a sequence of memorial poems, focused through the lens of Shire's intimate and unflinching vision.
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Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali writer, poet, editor and teacher. Raised in London, she has read her work internationally and her work has appeared in anthologies and journals including Wasafiri, Magma, Poetry Review and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe, 2014). Her debut pamphlet, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (flipped eye), was published in 2011 and she went on to win the Inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2013. Warsan was appointed as the first Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014 and was selected as Poet in Residence for Queensland, Australia, where she collaborated with the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Somali, Estonian and Swedish. Warsan is the current poetry editor at SPOOK magazine and is working on her first full collection of poetry.
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