Shire was born in 1988 in Kenya to Somali parents. She immigrated to the United Kingdom at the age of one. Shire has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. As of 2015, she primarily resides in London

In 2011, Shire released Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, a poetry pamphlet published by flipped eye. Her full collection is to be released in 2016 through flipped eye.

Shire has read her poetry in various artistic venues throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, North America, South Africa and Kenya. Her poems have been republished in various literary publications, such as the Poetry Review, Magma and Wasafiri. Additionally, Shire's verse has been featured in the Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe, 2014) collections. They have also been translated into a number of languages, including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish and Estonian.

As of 2015, Shire is working on her first full poetry collection. She also serves as the poetry editor at SPOOK magazine. In addition, she teaches poetry workshops both globally and online for cathartic and aesthetic purposes.

Shire has received various awards for her art. In April 2013, she was presented with Brunel University's inaugural African Poetry Prize, an award earmarked for poets who have yet to publish a full-length poetry collection. She was chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries.

In October 2013, Shire was also selected from a shortlist of six young bards as the first Young Poet Laureate for London. The honour is part of the London Legacy Development Corporation's Spoke programme, which focuses on promoting arts and culture in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area.

In 2014, Shire was also chosen as Queensland, Australia's poet in residence. She therein liaised with the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts over a six-week period.

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Warsan Shire Poems

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well... more »

Ugly

Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.... more »

Her Blue Body Full of Light

Can you believe I have cancer? Yosra asks,
a mug of tea between her hands,
almost laughing, hair cut close to her scalp.
I imagine the cancer auditioning... more »

Warsan Shire Quotes

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Peggy Norris 16 Jul 2019 11:24
Home is a very moving poem. Trump should read it, but unfortunately, he doesn't read...