10 Feminist Poets Who Will Leave You Stronger Than Before
Warsan Shire's name spread like wildfire once her poetry was featured in Beyoncé's Lemonade, but she was pickaxing away at the truth long before then. With the sharpest thread, she laces together experiences of war, xenophobia, femininity, love, and exile into the most restorative force. Shire pulls voices that have been lost in mayhem to the forefront, retelling their stories with the utmost tenderness, especially those of refugees and immigrants. The most remarkable thing about her work is how it refuses to leave us without hope. Yes, the suffering feels endless, but Shire is here to make sure it is not for nothing. Obviously, Beyoncé agrees with me on this one. What better endorsement is there?
She has written two collections (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body) as well as one chapbook (Our Men Do Not Belong to Us).
Your daughter's face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things
doesn't she wear
the world well.
— excerpt from "Ugly" by Warsan Shire