Warsan Shire


Poet and activist Warsan Shire grew up in London. She is the author of the collections Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (flipped eye, 2011), Her Blue Body (flipped eye, 2015), Our Men Do Not Belong to Us (Slapering Hol Press and Poetry Foundation, 2015), and Bless The Daughter Raised By A Voice In Her Head (Random House, forthcoming 2021). Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines, including Poetry Review, Wasafiri, and Sable LitMag; in the anthologies Salt Book of Younger Poets (2011), Long Journeys: African Migrants on the Road (2013), and Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (2016); as well as in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade (2016) and film Black Is King (2020). Shire has read her work in South Africa, Italy, Germany, and the United States. In 2013, she won Brunel University’s first African Poetry Prize. In 2014, she was named the first Young Poet Laureate for London and chosen as poet-in-residence for Queensland, Australia. In 2017 she was included in the Penguin Modern Poets series. In 2019 she wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising, narrated by Tess Thompson and David Oyelowo, and became the youngest person to ever be inducted into the Royal Society of Literature. Source

In Love and In War

To my daughter I will say,

‘when the men come, set yourself on fire’.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships


Literary Devices:


An inversion of typical syntax (word order).


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally