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Warsan Shire FRSL (August 1, 1988) is a British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya.
- I wrote the poem for them, for my family and for anyone who has experienced or lived around grief and trauma in that way.
- On what spurred her to write the poem “Conversations about Home (at the Deportation Centre)” in “Poets speak out for refugees: 'No one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark'” in The Guardian (2015 Sep 16)
- Warsan means “good news” and Shire means “to gather in one place”. My parents named me after my father’s mother, my grandmother. Growing up, I absolutely wanted a name that was easier to pronounce, more common, prettier. But then I grew up and understood the power of a name, the beauty that comes in understanding how your name has affected who you are. My name is indigenous to my country, it is not easy to pronounce, it takes effort to say correctly and I am absolutely in love with the sound of it and its meaning…
- On her name in ““To Be Vulnerable and Fearless: An Interview with Writer Warsan Shire” in The Well & Often Reader (November 2012)
- I still feel very homeless. I live in London and have been here nearly my whole life, but it is a difficult city to connect to. I have travelled around and found my body making more sense elsewhere. But I have started to understand what it feels like to belong, so I look forward to exploring different countries and seeing how fully I can feel at home in a place, that at the end of the day, isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.
- On writing about “home” in some of her works in ““To Be Vulnerable and Fearless: An Interview with Writer Warsan Shire” in The Well & Often Reader (November 2012)
- My poems come to me in images, like film. I can see it very clearly and then this overwhelming urge to write out best what I just saw comes over me…
- On envisioning her poems in ““To Be Vulnerable and Fearless: An Interview with Writer Warsan Shire” in The Well & Often Reader (November 2012)
Quotes about Warsan Shire
- I also read poetry — from Pablo Neruda to Warsan Shire — fairly regularly, and it keeps my sense of what words can do wide open and my sense of beauty awake.