Portrait - edgemagazinesite.com

A year ago, we reported the appointment of Warsan Shire as London’s first ever young poet laureate. Well, a whole year has now passed and her tenure has come to an end.

According to BBC news, she had a memorable “year of residences ranging from the Houses of Parliament to beauty salons…as well as the creation of a body of work which represented how she saw an ever-changing London, which in turn changed her.”

“Despite being born in Kenya to Somali parents, Ms Shire grew up in Wembley and Harlesden.” But it was until her work as London’s young laureate that she truly bonded with the city more intimately.

“I’ve lived here my whole entire life” she says in the BBC report, “but I always used to have this idea that I didn’t feel like I belonged, but after this year it feels so much more like home.”

The life of a city’s poet laureate has got to be hectic—traveling all over the city on speaking assignments, writing and sharing your work with people, in addition to conducting numerous writing workshops.

In addition to the intense artistic experience the position afforded her, Shire also learned practical things during her tenure:

“I’ve had presentation and media training and it’s taught me small things like how to invoice properly and if you’re going to freelance for the rest of the life you need to know that.

“You have deadlines to meet which was one of the the biggest things – writing to commission. You’re asked to write to a brief and then you have a week to get it out and I actually learned I quite like working under pressure.

If you’ve never read Shire’s work, you’re missing out. The visceral beauty in her writing, the unique way she writes about women and bodies and intimacy is beyond stunning.

Click HERE for a couple of poems to get you started. Feel free to check out her poetry chap book Teaching My Mother How to Giver Birth HERE.

With her laureateship up, what next? She plans to work on the “manuscript for her first full collection of poetry and publishing the work she created for YPL.”

We wish Warsan Shire all the best and look forward to reading more of her work.

 

**********************

Post image Via edgemagazinesite.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

#TBT | “An Ode to Makeup” | The Full Transcript of Chimamanda Adichie’s Wellesley Speech

adichie wellesley

Our #TBT feature this week is Chimamanda Adichie’s Wellesley speech. Two years ago, Adichie gave the commencement speech at Wellesley […]

The Impossibly Dapper Novelist: A Look at Alain Mabanckou’s Style File

mabanckou style (1)

From Chimamanda Adichie’s widely-publicized made-in-Nigeria wardrobe to Teju Cole’s Ikire Jones scarves to Prof Ato Quayson’s fedora hats, fashion and […]

Keeping Up With African Writers: Aminatta Forna

aminatta 5

Among writers of her generation, Aminatta Forna belongs in the higher ranks of critical acclaim. With her work translated into […]

Why Maaza Mengiste Threw Away the First Draft of Her Second Novel

mengiste_shevaunwilliams (1)

Maaza Mengiste might have just one novel published so far, in 2010, but she is one of the most visible […]

Chimamanda Adichie at City of Columbia’s Books In Bloom Festival | By Arao Ameny

adichie columbia city (1)

The city of Columbia, Maryland—a city located midway between Washington D.C. and Baltimore—hosted its first literary festival ‘Books in Bloom’ […]

Leila Aboulela Headlines 2017 Kaduna Book and Arts Festival

kabafest (1)

Hold on, Ake Festival. KABAFEST is here! Yes, we are delighted to announce the inaugural edition of the Kaduna Book […]