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Somali poet receives African Poetry award

News Point
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
by Juliet Mazarire

Somali Poet Receives African Poetry Award

This year the UK's Brunel University inaugural prize for African Poetry has been given to Somali poet Warsan Shire.

There were 655 entries for the prize. The participants had to submit a full-length poetry collection of 10 poems.

Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents and presently lives in London. Recounting her feelings after winning the award, Shire said, "I've never been to Somalia, and I'm Somali. So the poems for me are a way of creating a connection to a country I've never been to. I don't know how it feels to belong or to be home or anything like that".

The 24-year-old poet is passionate about poetry and has invested her entire professional life in this art form. She heard the news about her winning recently and couldn't fail to hold back her tears.

One of the judges in the panel, Sharmilla Beezmohun, stated that her work was beautifully crafted, subtle, and is understandable. It touches the heart of readers with its perfect moods and emotions.

Her first brochure of poetry dubbed as "Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth". Its title is derived from an African proverb. It was released in 2011 and has been translated into multitude of languages.


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