Warsan Shire Headlines WNS Fest!


Kenyan born Somali-British sensation brings her brand of eclectic excellence to this year’s international youth poetry festival.

Making its return to the cultural heartbeat of Jabulani, the Word N Sound 5th International Youth Poetry Festival brings with it one of poetry’s most anticipated international acts. The date has already been cast in stone; 3 October 2015 / 7:30PM / Soweto Theatre / R100 via Soweto theatre website or at the door.

Warsan Shire is a California-based writer, poet, editor and teacher. Born in Kenya and raised in London by Somali parents, the headline sensation has earned her stripes as an international touring poet and has built a strong reputation for an exceptional standard of work.

She has been featured in Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Magma, and in anthologies such as ‘The Salt Book of Younger Poets’ (Salt, 2011) and ‘Ten: The New Wave’ (Bloodaxe, 2014). Her first book ‘Teaching my Mother How to Give Birth’ was published by flipped eye in 2012, in 2013 she won the Inaugural African Poetry Prize and in 2014 she was selected as Queensland, Australia’s poet in residence where she spent six weeks collaborating with the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts. Most recently, she was appointed as the first Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014.

On the night, the lineup will also boast its own brand of eclectic excellence – featuring the likes of: Kabomo, Flex Boogie, Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Koleka Putuma, Neil Atlantis (formally known as Blindfold), Chef & The Kitchen – on what will be an explosive night of good all-round entertainment.

Other festival activities include:

– An open workshop day; Thursday 1 October / Free / Soweto Theatre

– The 2015 Poetry League and Slam For Your Life Finals; Saturday 3 October/ R70 (All-day pass)
/ Soweto Theatre

The festival is powered by the Soweto Theatre, with a special thanks going to British Council Connect ZA for their support in bringing Warsan Shire to Soweto. This project is part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.

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