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  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784743703
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $27.99

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head




The debut collection from award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire, celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King.

** AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4**

'Warsan Shire is an extraordinarily gifted poet whose profoundly moving poems so powerfully give voice to the unspoken' Bernardine Evaristo

Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma and resilience from the award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire, celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King.

With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a girl who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way toward womanhood. 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.

The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of survival. Each reader will come away changed.

'Warsan Shire electrifies... The beautifully crafted poems in this collection are fiercely tender gifts' Roxane Gay

'Vital, moving and courageous, this is a debut not to be missed' Guardian

  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784743703
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $27.99

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Praise for Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is full of ferocious love and truth. It is not overstatement to say Shire writes the way Nina Simone sang

Terrance Hayes, author of National Book Award finalist, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Warsan Shire's fierce and compelling book of poems, should come with a warning label: These poems will break your heart. Never has the phrase, speak truth to power, been truer. But Shire does more than speak truth, she sings truth and that is precisely her power. Her poems are incantations, chants, spells for our time and all time. They address the displacements and violence experienced by migrants, refugees, those in dark bodies and in female bodies. Where else to go for safety and salve but poetry? Souls so deep that no cruelty or injustice can drown their song. A warrior woman poet, Shire wields words as a weapon of mass creation. It is a "war" every reader will want to fight with her. And we do, by reading and rereading her poems

Julia Alvarez

Warsan Shire is an expert sculptor. She molds words into clay, her poems into statues-each one a wonder that I return to, in reverence. Because in every line, every curve is an invitation to see differently what has been deemed ugly or difficult. This book is the art gallery I've yearned to visit

Vivek Shraya, author of I'm Afraid of Men

I have long been a massive fan of Warsan Shire's extraordinarily gifted poetry. Her exquisite, memorable and finely-tuned poems articulate a depth of experience that never fails to surprise and profoundly move me, as she so powerfully gives voice to the unspoken

Bernardine Evaristo

Heartbreaking, full-bodied, and luscious. Although they encompass complex themes, the poems are lucid and utterly magically alive, it's almost like the book is a person!

Pascale Petit

Read these candid and revelatory poems to wrap your arms tight around the certainty of your own fracture, to acknowledge the many places and many ways your body has succumbed to violation and only fitfully healed. Read them to know your whole muscled self as a vessel for grief, and to bask in the stuttered lyric of its story. Beauty is maddeningly elusive, but it does exist. It's here in these lines, bursting brilliant, reshaping the story

Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art

It is absolutely astonishing how much emotion, intelligence, imagination, and truth Warsan Shire can get into one collection. She is a poet of the highest order, with a compassionate heart, and a limitless mind

Benjamin Zephaniah

Her poems are alchemical; I promise if you read a poem of hers you might levitate, at the very least you will be changed

Ella Baxter, The Millions

Shire's electrifying poems have the resonance of instant classics... Shire raises up in dignity the lives of immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls... This is poetry that has the power to create empathy, a quality which often seems lacking in these turbulent times

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

Shire's strikingly beautiful imagery leverages the specificity of her own womanhood, love life, tussles with mental health, grief, family history, and stories from the Somali diaspora, to make them reverberate universally... Enthralling... The poetry in Bless the Daughter soothes, even while it picks at the scabs of the wounds that cause trauma

Dzifa Benson, Daily Telegraph

Must-read poetry from the superstar Somali-British writer Warsan Shire

Stylist

Warsan Shire... explores trauma, womanhood and migration so magnificently that even Beyoncé has quoted her

Harper's Bazaar

Shire invokes the creative powers of the writer to transform one's past... Vital, moving and courageous, this is a debut not to be missed

Mary Jean Chan, 'The best recent poetry' - Guardian

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