“Born in Kenya to parents from Somalia, Shire grew up in London, where she has always felt like an outsider, and embodies the kind of shape-shifting, culture-juggling spirit lurking in most people who can’t trace their ancestors to their country’s founding fathers, or whose ancestors look nothing like those fathers. In that limbo, Shire conjures up a new language for belonging and displacement.”
Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Turns a Somali Brit Poet Into a Global Star from NPR
"Shire's poetry was heard 'round the world last Saturday in Lemonade, Beyonce's latest album, dropped on HBO in the form of a 1-hour special — a sweeping series of songs and videos that look at romance, rage and redemption. Between the glossy cinematography and, of course, the music, Queen Bey recited excerpts of Shire's works, launching the artist into the global spotlight:
you can't make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave"
Warsan Shire, The Woman Who Gave Poetry to Beyonce's Lemonade from The New York Times
"Ms. Shire has published chapbooks of poetry — including “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” in 2011 and “Her Blue Body” in 2015 — but much of her reputation was built online by publishing on Tumblr and using Twitter like an open notebook. In 2014, she was appointed the first Young Poet Laureate of London. Her first full poetry collection, “Extreme Girlhood,” is expected in the next year or so."