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If you haven’t heard her name in the aftermath of Beyoncé’s 'Lemonade', then please take a moment to ask yourself what you’ve been doing for the past year. Poet, editor, teacher and activist, Warsan Shire began fetching attention when she was awarded London’s first ever Young Poet Laureate back in 2013.


Shire’s Somalian heritage resounds in her poems, but her work is mostly about human experience: being female, the body, inner life, belonging and sexuality. Her poetry has made a pretty big impact on a worldwide scale; she speaks out about issues such as identity, nationality and faith. She’s also a massive advocate for immigration and refugees, one powerful line from her poem 'Home' reading,

‘You have to understand/that no one puts their children in a boat/unless the water is safer than the land’.

Aside from writing, Shire holds workshops and classes for people who have experienced trauma, helping them to explore their memories and to heal after their experiences.


She’s been set as one-to-watch in the future following her collaboration with Beyoncé, but more than that, she’s an artist and an activist who’s using her voice to make a change - something we desperately need right now.