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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

S14, Ep6 How To Fail: Warsan Shire


TW // eating disorders

I'm biased but oh my goodness, I love this guest and this episode SO much. Ahead of Refugee Week, which runs 20-26th June, it is my honour to welcome the poet Warsan Shire to the podcast. Warsan was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family to the UK at the age of one and her powerful poem Home - which opens with the line ‘no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark - has become the unofficial anthem to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. She's also a frequent collaborator with Beyonce - her poems are featured in the singer's seminal visual album, Lemonade. Now, at the age of 33, Warsan’s first full length collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, has just been published to critical acclaim.

Warsan joins me to talk about her failures in everything from breastfeeding to maths. We also talk about her eating disorder and her 'failure to control it'. We discuss what 'home' really means and what it is to be a refugee. And yes, we OBVIOUSLY talk about Beyonce.

Warsan is a beautiful, powerful communicator and this interview made me think and understand better. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Warsan's poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, is available to order here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1119216/bless-the-daughter-raised-by-a-voice-in-her-head/9781784743703.html

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com


Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod

Warsan Shire: @warsanshiree