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Warsan Shire heads to Africa Writes festival

DEBUT: Warsan Shire

IN HER first UK public appearance since her poetry reached millions of people in Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade, poet Warsan Shire will headline Africa Writes festival.

Taking place in London on June 29 to July 1, the UK’s biggest annual African literature festival will be held at The British Library and Rich Mix London.

Ahead of the publication of a new collection, Shire will close the festival on July 1 in conversation about her work, process and inspiration, as well as discussing living and working in LA, and her new projects that explore the intersections of art and healing.

Shire was awarded the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2013, and in 2014 was selected as Poet in Residence for Queensland, Australia, and appointed as the first Young Poet Laureate for London. She is the first person under 30 to headline Africa Writes festival.

Fellow poets Yomi Sode and Octavia Poetry Collective will perform at the Friday and Saturday headline events of the festival, which brings together over 50 of the most influ- ential voices in contemporary writing from Africa and its diaspora over an exciting literary weekend exploring themes of migration and identity, and celebrating the poetic form.

The Africa Writes programme of more than 20 events includes book launches of writers from across the continent and the diaspora, panel discussions, workshops and an international book fair.

Tickets are now available to book and the full festival programme will be announced at the end of May.

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