Somali poet Warsan Shire has become the first winner and recipient of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize.
Out of a total of 655 entries, Shire was shortlisted along with six other African up-and-coming poets.
The 24-year-old Kenyan born, England-raised poet has read her work globally, and her poetry pamphlet Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth was published in 2011 by flipped eye.
The judges praised Warsan’s poetry for its combination of substance, beauty and drama. Her work was described as “…beautifully crafted, subtle and understated in its use of language and metaphor yet still able to evoke a strong sense of mood and place that touches the reader.”
"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," - Shire