Bless Our Blue Bodies
Warsan Shire and Athena Farrokhzad
I can write the poem and make it disappear.
Step-dad spits liquor back into glass,
Mum’s body rolls back up the stairs, the bone pops back into place,
maybe she keeps the baby.
Warsan Shire is a critically acclaimed and award winning British poet. In 2016, the artist Beyoncé named her one of her favorite poets, and she appears both on the album «Lemonade» and in the film «Black Is King». In 2014, she was the first poet named Young Poet Laureate of London.
Shire, born to Somali parents in Kenya and raised in Great Britain, has said that she draws on her own experiences as an immigrant, as well as those of her family and friends in what she writes.
Shire has published two chap books, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body as well as one full-length poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised By a Voice In Her Head. Her poetry explores themes such as girlhood, mothers and daughters, black identity, migration, family and faith in a striking language, interspersed with both references to pop culture and phrases in Somali.
Athena Farrokhzad is a Swedish poet and writer, best known for her debut collection Vitsvit (White Blight), about migration, whiteness and violence. She joins Shire for a conversation about poetry, marginalized people and their experiences.
The conversation will be in English.