Debut poetry collection to be published from celebrated alumna

Warsan Shire’s new work, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, will be published 3 March 2022.

Date: 06 July 2021

Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, alumna of London Met who served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London, will have her debut poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, published 3 March 2022.

The collection will be published in hardback, e-book and audio by Chatto & Windus, in collaboration with publisher flipped eye, and will be marked by a major international campaign of publicity, partnerships and events.

The blurb for Shire’s new work reads: “Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, 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. These are noisy lives, full of music and weeping and surahs. These are fragrant lives, full of blood and perfume and jasmine. These are polychrome lives, full of moonlight and turmeric and kohl.” 

Talking about this new work, Shire said: “Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is an exploration of how far the tendrils of childhood trauma reach. An invocation for parentified children and the adolescents/adults they become. A rite of passage into girlhood, looking back and forward in a surreal examination of family, everything remembered and forgotten meet in a fever dream.”

Shire wrote the poetry for Beyonce’s Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade. She finished her Creative Writing BA from London Metropolitan University in 2010. Her chapbook, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, was published in 2011 and reached the top of Amazon's bestseller's list for African-American poetry.

Warsan Shire standing by a river.