Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire
“The beautifully crafted poems in this collection are fiercely tender gifts.”—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
“Shire is the real thing—fresh, cutting, indisputably alive.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
LONGLISTED FOR THE GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly
Mama, I made it / out of your home / alive, raised by / the voices / in my head.
With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own way toward womanhood. Drawing from her own life, 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. In Shire’s hands, lives spring into fullness. This is noisy life, full of music and weeping and surahs and sirens and birds. This is fragrant life, full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense. This is polychrome life, full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl. The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets, this book is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of resilience and survival. Each reader will come away changed.