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Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Shortlisted for the 2022 Felix Dennis Prize

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While she does provide a glossary for the terms, having to jump back and forth while actively reading can generate a disconnect for certain readers. I'd suggest reading this one if it sounds interesting or up your street and making up your own mind. Perhaps she did so out of respect for Victoria herself, wanting to honor her after her death outside of the lens of her murder, but part of understanding and respecting her story could be found in acknowledging the deep injustice that occurred. While the sectioning of her poems in such a way suggests a clear difference between or progression among them, Shire’s poetic style and the content of her poems are rather static until the book’s end. Positioning one above the other, Shire connects the sentiments of “I was an ugly child” to the sorrowful tale of when a mother “left the house and took her shoes.

A moving passage with a dynamic approach to separation and migration with images of birds as well as a barrier even in dreams. Like, Miss Shire really said it's fun for the whole family because after reading Lullaby For Father, I picked up the phone to contact my dad so he could hear it and maybe even cry for himself too.The poems are powerful and I'm always amazed by her capacity to root her poems in the experiences of the body, but I don't know, I expected more exploration. Warshan Shire is a young Kenyan-born Somali poet and this book is her 1st full length collection of poems. Somalia is recognized for having the longest coastline on the African continent and is populated by over 16 million people.

Aside from this poem, though, Shire doesn’t lean into such experimentation with shape and form in a way that enriches the poems’ contents. Children’ are ‘distant galaxies’ while father ‘hang[s] on the edge of the moon’, as unreachable as innocence lost. I also love how some known poems are brought in, but are given a new life and a new meaning in the context of the whole collection, a whole girlhood. Some of the best poem for men are here: Glitter On The Mouths Of Boys, Joyride, My Father The Astronaut, Bless The Gun Tossed Into A River. This fierce and compelling book of poems should come with a warning label: These poems will break your heart.Her poems have been published in Wasafiri, Magma and Poetry Review and in the anthology 'The Salt Book of Younger Poets' (Salt, 2011). While Shire’s presentation of powerful narratives can draw a deep reaction from readers, her straightforward structure and often disconnected tone makes the collection feel incomplete. Bless The Daughter Raised By The Voice In Her Head: Poems” (2022) is written by the multi-award-winning Somali-British author/poet Warsan Shire: who served as the first Young Poet Laurate of London where she was raised after resettlement. This creates an irreconcilable difference between the language implemented and the content being referred to within the poem. The commanding debut from Shire captures the loneliness of migration in crystalline language punctuated by the menace of patriarchal violence.

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